Garlic Zucchini and Leeks on Toast

18 Mar

Lately, I have been getting in touch with my cultural heritage. My mothers family is somewhat of a mystery to me; I don’t know her all that well, and haven’t spoken to her at all for more than 10 years. (She left my life when I was 3 months old). I think, from memory, they are English with Welsh origins, however, I am not certain.

My father and his parents raised me, and therefore were the major influence in my life. In my very early childhood I lived in my grandparents home, and I was heavily influenced by the Maltese culture. My father and his family immigrated to Australia in the late 50s and as a child, I lived in Malta with my grandparents for 18 months. After returning to Australia, I lost contact with my relatives in Malta, although I would occasionally say hello through my grandmothers letters or phone calls. It has been 36+ years since I have had direct contact with them. Recently, out of the blue and through the wonders of facebook, I was contacted by my Maltese cousins, Godfrey and Miriam! What a blast!

Here I am as a young child in Malta with my cousin Godfrey. I was perhaps 3 years of age here. (Circa 1974)

As I was quite young when I was there, I only remember snippets from Malta; certain tastes, smells and sights. What I remember most, however, was the flavours. The flavours and the uniqueness of the Maltese cuisine were such strong features through my upbringing and like all kids, I took it for granted. Last year, my grandmother died after a long illness. Most of the family recipes were lost with her death. I have thought about that loss for some time, but it was only when my family from Malta recently contacted me that I decided to try to reclaim some of those recipes.

[  Serves: 3  |  Time: 15min  |  Cost: <$5  ]


1 large zucchini
1 small leek
1 tablespoon minced garlic
dash of olive oil
splash of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Slice the zucchini into long strips about 1 – 1.5 cm thick. Cut the leek and clean it under cool water to remove any dirt.
  2. In a saucepan, add a little garlic to some warmed oil. Add the leeks and sauté until cooked. This should take 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside
  3. Add a little more oil to the pan, and add the zucchini. Season well, and fry until golden. Add a little lemon juice towards the end of the cooking period to lift the freshness of the zucchini.
  4. Serve on hot crusty bread.

Season the zucchini with salt and pepper, and a dash of lemon juice towards the end of the cooking process to refresh its flavour.


  • This dish is a bit of an alteration on one my grandmother would make a lot for lunch. It is easy, fresh and wholesome. Traditionally, my grandmother would not include the leeks. Sometimes she would use onions though, so its not that big a variation. I also added the splash of lemon as I thought the flavour would work well, which it did. I hope you will enjoy it.
  • Diabetic Note: Be careful of how much oil you use – its very easy for a splash of olive oil to end up as a guzzle. Also, make sure you chose a low GI bread, such as a light rye or burgen brand bread. The simple flavours of this dish work well, and my BGL’s are fine with this one.
  • Ethical Note: This morning, I woke up early and visited my local farmers markets. Almost all towns have some variation of the local farmer market and I encourage you to make a concious choice this week – shop locally and support local producers. Your money goes into your local economy, your produce has the lowest carbon miles which is a plus for the environment and you get to enjoy some of the freshest vegetables you can ever get! WIN WIN!

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3 responses to “Garlic Zucchini and Leeks on Toast

  1. jenonthecheap

    March 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    This looks very good! I love how fried zucchinis taste. It’s also interesting that you’re exploring foods from your Maltese heritage.

    • mizrhi

      March 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Really good day for you to note that, Jenny. I just made two authentic Maltese dishes that I haven’t had since I was a little girl! *wipes the crumbs from lunch from her mouth* Ill blog about them in the next week 🙂


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