Galletti | Maltese Water Crackers

Also known as hard crackers or water crackers, savoury Galletti biscuits are thin, hard, brittle Maltese biscuits made from flour, salt, semolina, yeast and warm water. A little sugar and either olive oil or butter can be added. They are quite different to the biscuits we might think of as water crackers, and are often flavoured with caraway, oregano, black pepper or sesame seeds.

Galletti are baked until golden-brown and served before or after a meal, paired with dips or cheese, spreads, avocado and other equally fashionable toppings. Or they can be consumed just on their own. These biscuits are found in almost every home kitchen on the island, even in bars and restaurants. Few homes in Malta make their own these days, but they are easy to make if you can’t get them locally.

The history of Galletti goes back at least 150 years to the naval bakeries in the rich maritime legacy of Malta’s seafaring past. Crisp and crunchy,  you can imagine they made the ideal ship’s biscuit.

Similar recipes include Oatmeal Crackers.

Browse our Maltese recipes and our Crackers. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Buckwheat and Broccolini Salad

I happily eat this buckwheat salad as is for a light lunch or snack. You know I love my salad snacks. It is lovely just on its own. Or it is great served with, say, some fritters, herby new potatoes and roasted beetroot. Yum.

This is an excellent dish for the cooler days of Summer and Autumn. The recipe is based on one from Ottolenghi’s Simple. He uses beans in the salad. After the devastating bushfires in Australia, fresh beans are difficult to source. Broccolini makes a great alternative. We cook a lot of Ottolenghi dishes but always feel free to use what is in our pantry, on our kitchen benches, in our garden, or available locally. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Some say buckwheat is an acquired taste. But I think of it as a creamy quinoa, and adore the flavour and texture. You will too. It has a slightly earthy and nutty flavour.

Similar dishes include Butternut with Buckwheat Polenta, Broccolini and Sweet Tahini, and Buckwheat Salad.

Browse all of our Buckwheat recipes and all of our Broccolini dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Crispy Salt and Pepper King Oyster Mushrooms

These baked, sliced oyster mushrooms, liberally seasoned, were an eye opener the first time I made them. They are salty, peppery and crispy, and are highly highly addictive. They make a great afternoon snack, but also have quite a few other uses.

Top salads with them, or hot bowls of soup. Crumble them and sprinkle over salads or fritters, or roasted vegetables. Put them into sandwiches and burgers and wraps. Place on top of a thick lentil dish. Break into pieces and mix through a salad.

And best of all, make yourself a cuppa and snack on the mushrooms in the afternoon sun.

Similar recipes include Baked King Oyster Mushrooms, Caramelised, Marinated King Oyster Mushrooms.

Browse all of our King Oyster Mushroom recipes and all of our Snacks. Or browse our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Sweet Potato Fritters

Sweet potatoes are at their peak in Winter – shiny skin, large sizes, unblemished exterior, very instagramable. Baked, fried, simmered or steamed they make the most wonderful dishes. They make quick soups with potato, for example, and bake really well, especially if slathered in cream. It appears humble, this vegetable, but at its heart there lurks a star.

Ottolenghi talks about a cafe in Telaviv that won its reputation with this sweet potato fritter – also called sweet potato cake. It is a wonderful recipe, without eggs too, so it did not require the usual adaptations in this kitchen.

The ultimate comfort food- soft, a bit messy and delicious.

The recipe is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty cookbook, an early one but still treasured in our house. Along with Plenty More and Ottolenghi, it holds many memories of great feasts. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and you can find the Guardian version of the recipe here.

Similar dishes include Sweet Potatoes and Deep Fried Tofu in Coconut Miso Broth with Noodles, Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potato with Caper Vinaigrette, and Sweet and Sour Pumpkin and Sweet Potato.

Browse all of our Sweet Potato recipes and all of our Fritters. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty are here.  Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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Tray Baked Veg with Pomegranate Molasses and Baharat

As Autumn slowly turns colder we pull out the jumpers, get the heater serviced and turn the oven on. What is it about oven cooked food that is so delightful in late autumn and winter? It is used most days during the cold weather in our kitchen. Today we throw some vegetable onto an oven tray and bake them with home made pomegranate molasses and baharat, the Middle Eastern spice.

They get placed in a very hot oven and are cooked in no time.

Similar recipes include Tray Baked Spicy Chickpeas, Kombu Baked Veg, and Winter Roast Vegetables with Chickpeas.

Browse all of our Tray Baked dishes and all of our Baked dishes. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Indian Vegetable Toasties

One of the easy ways of including more veg in your diet is to make delicious toasties. In this recipe we make a bechamel sauce, mix in some spices and finely chopped vegetables, and make toasties with the mix either on the tawa or in a toasted sandwich maker. We like to make toasties for Sunday night dinner when we have had a hectic weekend and just want to relax without too much effort. This is a habit born from childhood when we would use the leftovers from our large Sunday lunches to make toasties on Sunday nights. They go well on a Saturday night in front of the football on TV too.

By the way, when I was writing this post I had a vigorous conversation about the difference between a jaffle, toastie, grilled sandwich and toasted sandwich. Some differentiate between a toastie and a toasted sandwich. A toastie has sealed edges and is cut in half (see my pic) and a toasted sandwich is neither sealed nor cut. Toasties are called jaffles in some parts of Australia, but not many. To me, a true jaffle is made in a round, closed sandwich-maker that is held over a flame, either a gas flame or an open fire. A grilled sandwich is a term from the US. Glad we got that all sorted.

But I want to be clear that I use the term toastie generically to mean a toasted sandwich that may or may not have sealed edges and may or may not be cut in half. Either way.

Similar recipes include Upma and Fried Upma, Paneer Toast, Potato and Pea Toasties, and Tomato and Fontina Toastie.

Browse all of our Toasties and all of our Snacks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Oh My Goodness! Polenta Chips. With a Charred Tomato Sauce

Polenta has been a love of mine since the time (decades ago) that my Italian hairdresser turned me on to wet polenta in a dish layered with tomatoes. We don’t use polenta enough in our kitchen though, obsessed as we are with Indian food and other dishes of Italian food.

Ottolenghi has a gorgeous polenta chips recipe and that was enough impetus for us to search for the polenta in the back of the pantry and make this delicious snack. We are still cooking our way through Plenty More but we are in the Fried chapter, and so have slowed down. You just cannot eat deep fried food each and every day.

Similar recipes include Chickpea Fingers, Paprika Oven Chips, and Cumin and Pepper Wedges.

Browse all of our Polenta dishes and all of our Chips. Or browse our Late Autumn recipes.

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Life-Changing Fried Cauliflower with Mint and Tamarind Dipping Sauce

Some vegetables that have a poor reputation because they have been over cooked or over-boiled in the past, have redeemed their reputations through roasting or frying. I am thinking of Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower particularly, also Broccoli. I do love Cauli and Broccoli steamed gently but I also have nightmare recollections of how my mother cooked them.

Today we have a life-altering Cauliflower recipe for you. This is REALLY GOOD, and you won’t believe it is vegetarian. Fool your friends!

In this recipe, cauliflower is deep fried in a spicy batter and breadcrumbs, then it is dipped in a sauce made from herbs and tamarind. The original recipe is one of Ottolenghi‘s from Plenty More, but I have changed the batter so that it does not contain eggs. Chickpea flour batter makes an excellent batter for deep frying and we have used that. I have also made the batter spicy and left the breadcrumbs plain. We always feel free to substitute ingredients in Ottolenghi recipes that are not readily available in our local area, or to massage them to suit what is available in our garden and pantry. Seek out his original recipe in the book to compare – I can’t find a version online.

Similar recipes include Tray Baked Veg with Pomegranate Molasses, Cauliflower Roasted in Olive Oil, Cauliflower Fry, and Crispy Cauliflower with Capers.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here and here are the recipes from Plenty More. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Walnut and Pomegranate Dip

This is a particularly great dip or spread for Autumn. You know that we love our dips and spreads, and this one makes use of our home made pomegranate molasses and the unshelled walnuts that are commonly available in the local area. Pomegranate Molasses makes great dips and spreads when mixed with any nut butter, tahini or miso.

This paste is simple to make using the food processor and easy to pull together when unexpected guests arrive. We love those sorts of recipes.

Similar recipes include White Bean and Sun Dried Tomato Dip/Spread, Grilled Eggplant with Walnuts and Pomegranate, Broad Bean Dip, Orange and Pecan Cream Cheese, and Green Olive Tapenade.

Browse all of our Dips and Spreads, and our Pomegranate recipes. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Potato, Garlic and Rosemary Pizza

This pizza is one of my favourites – who does not like garlic on a pizza! It is the perfect meal for a hoard of hungry people in a hurry to eat. It makes a flavoursome meal with a minimum of fuss – just serve with a simple side salad. Salad leaves and tomato is perfect.

Make sure that you slice the potatoes thinly, otherwise they will not cook properly.

Similar recipes include Pizza on the BBQ, and Halloumi and Oven Dried Tomato Pizza.

Browse all of our Pizza recipes and all of our Snacks.  Or explore out Late Summer recipes.

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