As the weather warms with the dawn of springtime, Malta’s enviable produce comes into its own once again. Here’s some ideas for what to try throughout March and April.
As the traditional Easter Sunday roast dinner choice, Maltese lamb is at its finest at this time of year. It isn’t just perfect for roasting or baking however, as lamb chops are also a major feature in Maltese lamb stew. This flavour-packed popular local dish is a one-pot meal that stews the lamb together with celery, onions, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes and peas, as well as spices, curry powder and herbs.
Although around the world the pumpkin is most commonly associated with Halloween and Thanksgiving dishes, but here in Malta it is an essential part of the local cuisine year-round. Sweeter than its international cousins, we love using Maltese pumpkin is the base of ‘minestra’ – a warming, thick and hearty fresh vegetable soup with barley and fava beans.
Compare a Maltese carrot with a carrot produced anywhere else, and there won’t be a lot of visible difference. The taste, however, is a different matter. Known for their sweet, juicy and fresh flavour, Maltese-grown carrots can be steamed or boiled as a side for any dish. But we recommend trying one raw if you get the chance, for the full flavour experience.
In Malta, it’s not uncommon to buy locally-grown potatoes which still have some of the soil that will have covered them in the ground mere hours before. Indeed, the signature of a Maltese potato is its supreme freshness, and these firm, translucent, and fresher-than-fresh examples will improve whatever dish they accompany, be it your Easter roast or your mid-week bangers and mash.
What better way to season those fresh potatoes than with a sprig or two of equally fresh rosemary? This beautifully fragrant, tasty herb is not only commonly found in Malta complementing potatoes or fresh vegetables, but can also be added to give another layer of flavour to your Maltese roast lamb.
Want to try in-season Maltese produce? Pop by Le Bistro, at the Radisson Blu Resort, St Julian’s. Here chefs cook up dishes that revolve around the very best of in-season foods in exciting combinations that promise to make them absolutely delicious.