I believe this is the best way to eat raw garlic. I first tasted fettunta in Italy. It’s prepared by grilling slices of Tuscan bread over an outdoor fire, then rubbing the bread with raw garlic and anointing it with local olive oil and coarse sea salt. This recipe was a revelation about simplicity in food and made one of the most satisfying dishes I’ve ever eaten. Fettunta is the regional name for this dish; it’s called bruschetta throughout the rest of Italy.
I like to toast the bread over an open fire and make a little hearth ceremony of rubbing it with garlic and drizzling it with a really good Italian extra virgin olive oil before serving it to friends and family. However, it can be prepared quickly (and quite deliciously) by toasting the bread under the broiler or in a toaster oven until crisp. We usually eat this at least two or three nights a week — often whenever we have soup, stew or pasta — and always when we have the grill going.
- 4 garlic cloves
- About ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
- 12 (½-inch-thick) slices Italian bread
- Peel garlic and cut off root ends. Combine olive oil and salt in a small, shallow dish.
- Toast bread over an open flame under the broiler or in the toaster oven, until it’s golden brown on both sides. Let it sit a minute until cool enough to handle.
- Firmly rub toast on both sides with garlic so the crisp bread acts like a grater and the garlic actually disappears into the bread. Then dip one side of each slice briefly in olive oil.
- Top with any vegetables, herbs or cheeses you desire. Serve the fettunta immediately.