The Empty Fridge is a monthly series where we challenge that formidable void
and make the best of what's on hand. Join us every third Tuesday* for a new installment, and
feel free to share your empty fridge recipes in the comments for this post!
Up this month: Tuscan Fettunta
Before I lived in Italy, I thought bruschetta was an appetizer that more often than not consisted of soggy bread and mealy tomatoes, and that it only came in one flavor. Needless to say, I was happy to be proved wrong.
Upon my arrival to my first Italian dinner party, I was greeted by a pile of beautiful Tuscan bread toasted over a fire, rubbed with fresh garlic and doused with fresh olive oil and sea salt.
By itself, it's a wonder all of it's own. . .
. . .but then I looked beyond the bread and saw. . .
. . . a table full of amazing seasonal specialties to accompany the stunning simplicity of a good fettunta.
Umm. . . yes.
Fettunta (the Tuscan variety of bruschetta)
- Bread (in ideal circumstances this would be an unsalted Italian bread, but I just used what I had on hand)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Peeled garlic cloves
- Sea salt
- Whatever goodies you have left in your kitchen
Perhaps one of the easiest dishes to turn to when your fridge is empty, I'm not sure why I haven't done this before. Fettunta in it's purest form is a celebration of all things good and simple, namely, great bread and olive oil fresh from the fall harvest. The word fettunta comes from the words fetta unta, and literally means "oily slice." When I looked into my fridge and saw the collection of disparate goods in the second photo, I thought, "well this is going to be interesting". . . and then I remembered Italy.
Even though my bread was a sandwich rye and my olive oil wasn't fresh from the orchard, these tasty bites were pretty darn satisfying if I do say so myself. And as always, the star of the show ended up being the simplest of all. I could eat the raw broccoli and chili flake fettunta all day long.
Take the bread you have and grill or toast it. As soon as it is ready, rub it all over with a fresh clove of garlic and then drizzle olive oil on top followed by a sprinkling of sea salt.
Examine what you have in the fridge and make pairings as you see fit. Simplicity is often key here. Based off of what I had lying around in my empty void, these are the combinations that made up dinner at our house:
- Chopped broccoli with chili pepper flakes and olive oil
- Diced nectarine, avocado, and red onion tossed in lime juice and dusted with cayenne
- Lentil, basil, and feta with a bit of salt and pepper
- Smoked salmon, red onion, capers and olive oil
With the Kids:
Last time on The Empty Fridge: Summer Tagliatelle
*So Tuesday... turned into Wednesday this month :)