November 9, 2012

Simple Pleasures- New Oil

We live in the middle of olive groves and vineyards, but we don't make our own wine or olive oil. But we know where to get it FRESH.

at the mill waiting to be crushed

Near our home is a fabulous olive oil cooperative with over 1,000 members. They all live within 30 km of the frantoio, olive oil press. The members must bring in the olives within 24 hours of being picked and make a "reservation" to bring in their olives.

We live on the top of this hill, behind the cypress trees. There are olive trees below us and then the vineyards.
We live in 1/3 of an old family farmhouse, which has been divided.

We drove by last week and nothing had started yet, so went back this week and were lucky.

We bought a 5 liter tin.... to start!

One of the purest ways to taste oil is to simply pour on toasted country-style bread which you have rubbed with garlic and then sprinkle with salt. Here in Tuscany it is called fettunta, greasy slice, but often in American it is referred to as bruschetta.

Tuscan bread is unsalted so the salt really accents the flavor.

In the market now is the first cavolo nero, kale, which is often served on fettunta. 

That is what I made today.

Slow cooking kale, stripped from its thick stems in salted water. More of a soup.
Sort of like in the south, where they cook collard greens with the pot likker.

Fettunta con Cavolo Nero e Olio Nuovo

Toast the bread until crunchy. I like to cut the bread a little thicker, so there is a tender center to absorb the broth. Then rub with raw garlic.

Place the toasted bread into a soup bowl and top with the cooked kale and pour on about a ladle or so of broth.

Drizzle with the best extra virgin oil you can get and sprinkle with salt.

Eat the bread and kale with a knife and fork if you like, but don't leave the broth! Use a spoon to not leave a drop.


  1. That sounds delicious! Fresh local olive oil, must be so wonderful.

  2. this year the oil is especially "Spicy" with a bite. there was not a lot or rain, so a small production but with a real kick!They pick the olives here while they are still green or just turning and hand pick, so as not to bruise the olives. picking them while still a little green gives them a more "peppery" sort of feel in the mouth--

  3. It all looks so goodd and so satisfying.. Bart would go wild for the fettunta with cavolo nero.

  4. One of these days I will make a loaf of bread that at least looks as good as the one in the photo. I usually make doorstops.

    Judy - I met you when I visited Florence nearly eight years ago. You showed me around the Mercato and gave me some hot peppers that I enjoyed snacked on while seeing the sights. Kept me energized on wintry December days.

    --- Ravi from Redondo Beach

  5. Good Morning Judy, My, oh, my, you transported me back in time....I could taste and smell the olive oil which had just been pressed. I used to live in Cyprus and we had olives trees in our garden, we used to get together with other owners of olive trees and transport our olives to a neighbouring village which had an olive press. The first press of olive oil, was such a shock, as it had such a hot, peppery taste which we hadn't experienced before. I used to have demi johns filled with olive oil stored in my kitchen. We loved good Cypriot village bread dipped in olive oil, it was delicious. Now I am living in England and it is back to the shop bought olive where near as good, but I feel lucky to have enjoyed the experience of Cyprus. I have throughly enjoyed reading your blog, I have become a follower. Sending you best wishes from England. Daphne