It always amazes me just how much fruit and veg is produced in Malta. Half of Malta is urban, while other part seem mostly garrigue. From mid-May to mid-September, we’ve drought-like conditions. Despite this, the islands produce an incredible variety of fruit and vegetables, some growing to gargantuan size.
Now, in spring, we’ve the pick of the crop. The Mediterranean has a head start on northern Europe with all manner of green vegetables and lush herbs well in season. And, in Malta, we’ve some green goodies that come free – vegetable sellers happily grab a handful of flat-leaf parsley and basil from a crate and push it in with your purchases for nothing.
In celebration of eating Malta’s spring greens, we’ve this guest post from Miriam Sorrell, a gourmet vegan cook, the creator of Mouthwatering Vegan Recipes – a blog full of her own delicious and healthy dishes. Her aim is to show that it’s possible to enjoy culinary delights that are meat, dairy and cholesterol-free, while making them a feast for the eyes and taste-buds. Miriam combines our island veggies to take vegan food to another level. With a passion for cooking born in her childhood when she would lend her Greek Cypriot father a hand in his restaurant in London’s West End, Miriam brings us Mediterranean cuisine at its best. And she teaches us how to use Malta’s surprisingly rich offer of veg along the way.
Miriam will be serving up a choice gourmet recipe here on Maltainsideout every so often to remind us what veggie delights are in season and not to be missed. What better start than linking vegetables with a Maltese all-time favourite meal – pizza! But one with a twist: a base sauce of pesto with parsley and basil. Ask the veggie seller for a handful more!
Polenta Garden Pizza to Live for!
This is a super pizza and it is quite simply delicious. The base is made in part with cornmeal, smeared with a spreading of freshly-made pesto, and topped with freshly cut tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, root garlic (normal will do), chilli olives and extra virgin olive oil – glorious! A winner in my home and flavour galore.
Serves 4 – makes two round pizza bases around 12” each.
For the base, please see my Moroccan Pizza recipe – then substitute half of the flour with cornmeal/polenta flour, otherwise follow the recipe.
Ingredients for the Topping
You will need my pesto recipe (please follow it) – if time is pressing, use a brand from a jar.
2 cups pesto (1 cup per pizza)
2 large tomatoes, sliced
2 roots garlic, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
12 whole cherry tomatoes
½ cup sundried tomatoes,chopped
drizzle of olive oil
green spicy olives of your choice
2 cups grated vegan cheese (or cheese of choice if you’re not vegan)
Roll pastry out, and place on to two ready-greased dishes. Then spread the pesto evenly, leaving an inch clear at the edges all round. Next arrange all the ingredients (except for the cheese) on top of the pesto base. Place in preheated hot oven for 15 -20 minutes, bring out, sprinkle on your cheese and drizzle some more olive oil. Allow the cheese to melt in the oven for a further 10 minutes or so – feel free to check it.
Serve hot and Enjoy !
More on Mouthwatering Vegan Recipes
Miriam Sorrell, the creator of Mouthwatering Vegan has been involved in the field of Natural Health Care for the last two decades, having originally qualified in the UK as a nutritionist, holistic aromatherapist and stress manager, and later as a CCC registered UK counsellor. She is also a professional artist and jewellery designer. Contact Miriam on Facebook.
Photos: © Mouthwateringvegan.com