eat in my kitchen

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Tag: tomato sandwich

Tomato, Leek and Oregano Cream Cheese Sandwich

Tomato, Leek and Oregano Cream Cheese Sandwich

Today’s sandwich reminds me a bit of pizza although there’s no melted cheese in the recipe, but if you combine the milky taste of cream cheese with dried oregano and put this on a yeasty bun with tomatoes, you’re already half way there. It’s a lighter and quicker version, easy to prepare as a little snack for lunch.

The dried oregano should be organic if possible as it tastes remarkably better, as so do the cherry tomatoes. Heirloom fruits are the best, especially in winter, as they offer a variety of flavours from honey sweet to fruity and tart. They also look really pretty with their different shapes and shades of yellow, green, red and brown. Some are almost black, quite dramatic! For my sandwich, I just cut them in half and left them uncooked to keep their crunchiness and freshness. I brought in some leek cut into very thin slices which I sautéed in a little olive oil, they were smooth with a soft hint of onion and merged well with the creaminess of the cheese. This is an easy sandwich, exactly what I need sometimes in a month full of culinary opulence and lusciousness!

As much as I try to stick to the seasons when it comes to vegetables, in winter I can’t live without tomatoes. I accept that the skin is a little bit thicker at this time of the year, and you can taste that they aren’t spoiled with sun anymore. But if you choose well, you can find some colourful little treasures that please your taste buds.

Tomato, Leek and Oregano Cream Cheese Sandwich

 

Tomato, Leek and Oregano Cream Cheese Sandwich

 Tomato, Leek and Oregano Cream Cheese Sandwich

For 2 sandwiches you need

white buns, cut in half, 2
mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half, a handful
leek, just the white part, cut into thin slices, 1/4
cream cheese 200g / 7 ounces
dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon, to taste
salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar, for the topping
olive oil

Sauté the leek in a little olive oil for a few minutes until soft and golden. Whip the cream cheese with oregano and salt. Season to taste.

Spread a thick layer of the whipped cream cheese on the bottom of the buns and sprinkle them with the sautéed leek. Garnish each bun with tomatoes, some more oregano and crushed pepper before you close it.

Tomato, Leek and Oregano Cream Cheese Sandwich

 

Tomato, Leek and Oregano Cream Cheese Sandwich

 

Tomato, Leek and Oregano Cream Cheese Sandwich

 

Tomato, Leek and Oregano Cream Cheese Sandwich

 

Tomato, Leek and Oregano Cream Cheese Sandwich

A Maltese Beach Ftira with Tomato, Capers, Olives and Mint

Maltese Ftira with Tomatoes, Capers + Mint

Today I will share a sandwich with you that is as simple as it is perfect, Ftira mimlija – or filled, round Ftira bread.  This sandwich doesn’t require many ingredients but the few you use must be of exceptional quality. All you need is an extraordinarily delicious loaf of white sourdough bread, finest quality extra virgin olive oil, ripe tomatoes, red onions, olives, capers and fresh mint and basil leaves. This is a Maltese classic which you can buy at every beach kiosk and bar in many variations, some of them are also made with tuna, anchovies, bell pepper, Gbejna (Maltese goat cheese) or coarse sausage. I prefer to keep it simple, that’s how my friend Essa makes them and that’s the recipe I will share with you, it’s my favourite! Every Maltese family has their own traditional recipe for this popular snack, so there isn’t only one way to prepare it.

Depending on the time I have for my sandwich preparations I choose between the stuffed Ftira or a quick beach version without a filling, the equally famous Hobz biz-Zejt u Tadam (bread with oil and tomatoes). When I only have a few minutes left before our friends ring at the door to pick us up to go to the beach, this is my choice! I cut the bread in half, dip it in a plate of olive oil, rub it with a cut, ripe tomato and sprinkle it with coarse sea salt and crushed pepper. When you close the bread and push it together, it will soak the fruity and oily juices until you take it out of your bag after a long swim in the sea. Delicious! Jenny (my Maltese Mama) prepares these for us sometimes and I’m always happy when she pulls this snack out of her cooling box!

I think it’s time for a quick introduction for those of you who don’t really have an idea of where I am at the moment. The islands of Malta lie 80 km (50 miles) south of Sicily in the Mediterranean sea. This tiny country is formed by the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino and a few smaller uninhabited rocks, it’s one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in the world. Its beautiful baroque capital is called Valletta which is a UNESCO World Heritage city. While we’re here, we live on the island Malta which is the largest of them all but still very small – only 28 x 13km / 17 x 8 miles!

Maltese Ftira with Tomatoes, Capers + Mint

 

Maltese Ftira with Tomatoes, Capers + Mint

Maltese Ftira Sandwich with Tomato, Capers, Olives and Mint

For 2 Ftiras Sandwiches you need

Ftira, 2 quarters or 2 sourdough buns
big tomatoes, chopped, 2
capers, rinsed and dried, 1-2 teaspoons
small red onion, chopped, 1-2 teaspoons
black olives, chopped, 6
big basil leaves 6
small mint leaves 6
olive oil 4-8 tablespoons
salt and pepper

Sprinkle each slice of the Ftira or bun with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and put the tomatoes, capers, onion, olives and herbs on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste and close the sandwich, enjoy!

Maltese Ftira with Tomatoes, Capers + Mint

 

Maltese Ftira with Tomatoes, Capers + Mint

 

Maltese Ftira with Tomatoes, Capers + Mint

 

Maltese Ftira with Tomatoes, Capers + Mint

 

Maltese Ftira with Tomatoes, Capers + Mint

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