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Hobz biz-zejt – the Maltese Bruschetta

Hobz biz-zejt is the most traditional, exquisite savory dish served in most cafes in the Maltese islands. A fresh Maltese bruschetta recipe that is prepared at the last minute, and can be used as an appetizer, first course or second course!


Hobz biz-zejt (Maltese Bruschetta)
Prep: 5 mins Total: 5 mins Yields: 4

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Maltese Hobz biz-zejt Recipe

What is Hobz biz-Zejt

Hobz biz-zejt literally means “Bread with Oil” referring to the crispy and popular Maltese bread, covered with tomato paste and filled with tomatoes, tuna, beans, olives, cheeselet, spices, and lots of olive oil. For this recipe, you can use the famous Maltese loaf or a Maltese ftira which is a flat rounded sourdough bread. I will leave it up to you which one you want to pick as I find it really difficult to suggest which is the best!


Actually, the pairing of bread and olive oil is very popular in the Mediterranean region. Truly what makes this recipe ridiculously delicious is the unique taste of Maltese bread. And that’s why it may be hard to replicate this goodness if you live anywhere else in the world. The main characteristic of Maltese bread is the hardness of its crust and a softer center full of large holes that makes it incredibly good both fresh and toasted. When I lived in central Italy, I used to bake my own bread cause I couldn’t get used to the taste and texture of their bread. Later I learned from my work colleagues that I should ask the bakery for Neapolitan, Sicilian, or any bread from SouthI Italy which was the closest taste I could ever get to the Maltese loaf.

This recipe can also be adapted for fussy eaters by using Maltese bread, smearing it with tomato paste, and adding a little olive oil. Optionally, you might also want to replace the cheeselet with sliced cheese, especially for the kids. I remember as a kid I would only eat it with tomato paste, olives, tuna, and olive oil and then as I grew up I started to appreciate all ingredients. As a note, together with the olives you can also add capers but I’m not a big fan of the latter. Eating Hobz biz-Zejt takes me back down memory lane where I and my memory shared special moments while eating a simple bruschetta for lunch at home or at the beach.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices of Maltese bread or 2 ftajjar (sourdough bread)
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 15 large olives (green or black), sliced
  • 1 cheeselet, sliced
  • 1 large can tuna in oil
  • 5 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 small onion
  • Basil or parsley to taste
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

How to make Maltese Bruschetta (Hobz biz-zejt)

  1. Remove the beans from the storage water and pour them into a colander, rinse them under running water
  2. Put the beans in a bowl
  3. Peel and finely slice the onion and place it in the bowl with the beans
  4. Also add the previously cut cherry tomatoes, olives, cheeselet and tuna in oil
  5. Wash the basil, break it up with your hands, and add this too to the bowl
  6. Season with salt and extra virgin olive oil, mix gently
  7. Heat up the cast iron skillet
  8. Cut the slices of bread, you will need 8 slices for these doses
  9. Toast the slices of bread on the hot cast iron pan
  10. Let them toast on both sides
  11. Remove them and dress them with the tuna and the beans
  12. Place the bruschetta on a serving plate
  13. Serve the Hobz biz-Zejt on individual plates and enjoy your meal.

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More Mediterranean Food typically with tomatoes and olives

Maltese Bruschetta

Hobz biz-Zejt (Maltese Bruschetta)

Caroline Sciberras
Hobz biz-zejt is the most traditional, exquisite savory dish served in most cafes in the Maltese islands. A fresh Maltese bruschetta recipe that is prepared at the last minute, and can be used as an appetizer, first course or second course!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Lunch, Snack
Cuisine Maltese, Mediterranean
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 8 slices Maltese bread or 2 ftajjar (sourdough bread)
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 15 large olives sliced (green or black)
  • 1 cheeselet sliced
  • 1 can tuna in oil large
  • 5 cherry tomatoes halfed or quartered (ripe)
  • 1 onion small
  • Basil or parsley to taste
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Remove the beans from the storage water and pour them into a colander, rinse them under running water
  • Put the beans in a bowl
  • Peel and finely slice the onion and place it in the bowl with the beans
  • Also add the previously cut cherry tomatoes, olives, cheeselet and the tuna in oil
  • Wash the basil, break it up with your hands and add this too to the bowl
  • Season with salt and extra virgin olive oil, mix gently
  • Heat up the cast iron skillet
  • Cut the slices of bread, you will need 8 slices for these doses
  • Toast the slices of bread on the hot cast iron pan
  • Let them toast on both sides
  • Remove them and dress them with the tuna and the beans
  • Place the bruschetta on a serving plate
  • Serve the Hobz biz-Zejt on individual plates and enjoy your meal
Keyword ftira biz-zejt, hobz biz-zejt, maltese bruschetta

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