Every month we feature a fruit or vegetable that is in season, along with a fun fact or recipe idea. We are currently working on a project, Citizen’s CAP, highlighting the importance of citizen involvement in agricultural policy to ensure healthy food and protection of our agricultural land. In a way, this is a continuation of a previous project, AgroKatina, through which we have published a report on the local fruit & vegetable supply chain. Find out more on www.foemalta.org/agrokatina, where you can also order a free copy of the pocket guide to seasonal fruit and veggies.
Finally, figs are back! After a few years of very minimal harvests, due to the devastating impact of the fig bark beetle, or Hypocrypahlus scabricollis, this year the harvest of the early figs, known as bajtar ta’ San Ġwann, looks promising. After the first round of fruit matures in early June, a second round of fruit develops on the same trees about 6 weeks later, which are known as tin or farkizzan. Make hay while the sun shines, and enjoy the sweet, plump and tender fruit on their own, or as the main eye catcher in a salad, as in the recipe below.
If you have any fig trees of your own, keep an eye out for small fine holes on the bark of the fig tree, as these are indicative of the larvae of the bark beetle carving their way through the stem. If found, contact the Plant Health Directorate to obtain advice about treatment and preventive measures, so that hopefully the local fig tree population can be protected and we can enjoy delicious figs year after year.
This year we published the AgroKatina report about the local fruit & vegetable supply chain, and the pocket guide highlighting when local fruits & veggies are in season. Find out more on www.foemalta.org/agrokatina, where you can also order a free copy of the pocket guide.
Fig, halloumi & hazelnut salad
A dream combination of sweet & salty, crunchy and soft ingredients.
Ingredients & method:
• 6 figs
• 1 red onion
• 250g halloumi cheese
• 50g hazelnuts
• 50g rucola
• 50g radicchio
• 30g fresh basil
• Olive oil
• Balsamic vinegar
• Salt and pepper
Cut the onion in long strips and roast in a pan or oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Chop the hazelnuts roughly and toast in a pan. Wash and mix the salad leaves. Cut the halloumi in thick slices and fry in some olive oil in a pan until golden and crisp. Cut the figs lengthwise into 6 pieces and place on top of the salad, alternating with pieces of halloumi, and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Dress with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and s&p to taste.
Citizen’s Cap project has been funded with support from the European Commission and co-financed by the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs, and Civil Liberties. This project reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.