Are you hungry? Because we are most of the time. And if your answer was no, we’re about to change that. We’ve got two more traditional Maltese recipes to share with you to celebrate some local veggies that are in season; tomatoes and aubergines.
We’ve teamed up with The Agriculture Directorate in the Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change to help contribute to their official database called ‘The National Register of Traditional Agro food products of Malta“.
The concept of traditional Agricultural-Food Products is subject to interpretation since everyone has a different idea of what ‘traditional’ means
To address this issue, a legal notice was drafted to define what constitutes traditional products and a board will be having the final say following a public consultation procedure. The purpose of an official register is to serve as an official reference to the genuine traditional agro-food products. And they’re looking for people to contribute to this register.
More information on how to contribute to the register can be found and the end of this article, but first, here are two of our own recipes.
Balbuljata – scrambled eggs and tomato
Maltese tomatoes are almost always in season, being planted in greenhouses between August and September, and in open fields between March and April. The fruit (because yes, it is a fruit) has a growing period of anywhere between four and ten months, depending on where they are planet and the type of tomato. For example, cherry tomatoes grow faster than table tomatoes.
Every year roughly 33,000 tonnes of tomatoes are harvested in Malta, which is more than you could even think about eating in your entire lifetime (I hope).
Here’s what we did to make our balbuljata:
-Chop Maltese tomatoes, onions and garlic
-Salt and pepper Maltese eggs, and whisk
-Brown onions and garlic
-Add tomatoes and leave to simmer until soft
-Add eggs and leave on a low heat
-Season a slice of Maltese bread, drizzle with olive oil, and grill
-Place the egg and tomato mixture on the bread and enjoy!
Kapunta – sautéed aubergine and veggies
Aubergines, which you’ll probably be surprised to hear are also fruits and not vegetables, are also known as eggplants. Peak harvesting season for aubergines is between July and October, however they can be grown all year round in open fields and in protected cultivations such as greenhouses. And another fun fact about this fruit, around 400 tonnes of aubergines are harvested yearly in Malta.
The sign that an aubergine is ready for harvesting is a firm, glossy skin. Like tomatoes and peppers, aubergines develop and hang from the branches of a plant that grows several feet in height.
Here’s our kapunata recipe:
-Chop one Maltese aubergine, place in a bowl, and soak with salted water
-Chop onions, garlic, celery, one bell pepper, marrow, and tomatoes
-Heat pan and drizzle with olive oil
-Brown onions and garlic, add aubergine and sauté until soft
-Add chopped vegetables, thyme, kunserva, olives and capers, and mix well
-Leave to simmer on a low heat
-Serve with ftira and ġbejna