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!
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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Serve on hot crusty bread.
- 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!