Sun kissed tomatoes... Mediterranean that is!

By Ms.Gourmet on December 29, 2008 12:01 AM
I can't begin to describe how my heart does a dance this time of year at the sight of new season tomatoes that have been tenderly sun kissed and left to gently ripen on the vine. Not to be mistaken by those powdery, tasteless things that get passed off as tomatoes that are available in supermarkets all year round. No I am referring to those gorgeous, plump, juicy tomatoes that are often found at local farmers markets.


In September Mr Man and I spent three glorious weeks eating and drinking our way through Malta and Italy. While we were away I found myself craving tomatoes as nothing compares to sun blushed Mediterranean tomatoes. As far as I am concerned Maltese tomatoes are some of the best in the world. While we were in Gozo we would purchase our daily stash from the fruit and vegetable van that was parked in the middle of the piazza every morning. These tomatoes had been hand picked from neighbouring fields earlier that morning - talk about 'traceable food supply'!

A classic Maltese icon and something that will forever remind me of summer is Hobz biz Zejt - which literally means bread with oil. Sounds a bit bland I know but the proof is in the eating. Needless to say the only place to eat Hobz biz Zejt is in Malta during summer where you can then wash it down with an ice cold Kinnie. Of course the benefit to eating Hobz biz Zejt in Malta is that you get to use the local bread. Maltese bread is crisp and crusty on the outside and light and aerated on the inside and is still cooked daily in the village Furnar which is a stone built, wood burning oven.

Image source - Julian Calabrese (2008).
calabrese_forno.jpgHobz biz Zeit -Maltese bread with tomatoes, olives and mint

Recipe source - Ms.Gourmet

Every family has their own interpretation of Hobz biz Zejt, but this is the version I have come to know and love. For a great result use lush vine ripened tomatoes and good quality bread. When making this in Melbourne I  use either Irrewarra or Phillippa's bread.


A loaf of Casalinga, Ciabatta or Sourdough bread
4 vine ripened tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Green Olives
Fresh mint
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Optional Ingredients

Pickled onions
Tinned tuna in oil


1. Drizzle some olive oil onto a plate

2. Slice bread thickly and dip one side of each slice into the oil.

3. Slice tomatoes in half then rub the cut side over the bread until its red.

4. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, topped with sliced olives, capers and fresh mint.

Good old fashioned peasant food that is well worth the 20 hour flight! Has anyone ever tried this Maltese national icon? If so I would love to hear about your experience.

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Recent Comments

  • Lady: I find that readers respond very well to Sun kissed read more
  • resume writer: It is an incredible dish made from very simple ingredients. read more
  • mutuelle: hi, really great pic, nice tomatoes, so juicy and read more
  • Ms.Gourmet: Maria it thrills me to no end knowing that people read more
  • Maria: OMG i cannot beleive it!! maltese food on a food read more
  • Bobbi: This simple fare of Hobz biz-zejt and pastizzi's started my read more
  • Karen: All the childhood memories are flooding in particular is read more
  • Samahita: This sounds like a great snack. The photo of the read more
  • Ms.Gourmet: Sophie I think the only place to eat this is read more
  • Sophie: I ate this when I was in Malta on holiday!!! read more