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.
No fruit is more ubiquitous throughout the Maltese summer than the melon in all its varieties. Locally grown melons start appearing at farmer’s markets from the spring months and all the way through the winter months, but it is the most refreshing in the hot summer period. Next time you are buying bettieħ from your farmer, ask if they grow or know about the Maltese variety, which is smaller and sweeter fruit and requires less water to grow. If you have green fingers, you can also get your hands on some of these heirloom seeds by contacting the Diversification and Competitiveness Directorate at Għammieri who are working to collect seeds from Maltese origin that are more adapted to this climate.
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.
Melon and Mint Sorbet
Bettieħ is so delicious that it can be very well eaten on its own, but if you want to add some zesty flavour, follow the recipe below. This is one of my summer staples since it is so easy to make! It can be prepared in advance and stored in a freezer for whenever you feel like a cooling, sweet treat. The best part of it is that you can make it with local and easily found ingredients—the most important thing is to get your hands on some sun-kissed, sweet melon. You will get around 4 potions of sorbet with the quantities below, so increase these as you see fit. You will also need a food processor for this one.
Ingredients & method:
- 500g of melon flesh (buy 1 average sized melon)
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon of local honey (or agave for a vegan option)
- a drizzle of honey, lemon zest and mint leaves to top
- Take your melon and cut it into two halves to scoop out all the seeds from the centre. Remove the skin of the melon and cut it up into small pieces of a few centimeters in size. Lay these pieces into a container and place in the freezer and leave them there until well frozen (this will take around 2 hours).
- After the melon pieces have become hard, chuck all the pieces into a food processor that has a strong enough motor to turn these frozen cubes into a puree. Add to this mixture the lemon juice (you can also add some lemon zest), the honey or agave, and the chopped mint leaves. Feel free to change the proportions of these ingredients based on how sweet, bitter and minty you would like the sorbet.
- Place the food processor bowl with the puree back into the freezer and leave for another 1hr. Take it out again and give it a few more pulses to break up any water crystals that have started forming. After this, you can scoop out the content from the food processor bowl, and put it into a container and put it back in the freezer.
- An hour later you will have a proper ice-cool sorbet. Use an ice-cream scooper to serve. I like to drizzle the sorbet with a bit of honey, add some lemon zest and decorate with fresh mint leaves. If you would like to try variations, add any ingredients that you see it to the melon base (maybe some ginger or spices).
You can also experiment with the texture by stopping at the second step, to make a melon slushy.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This article 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.
This project is co-financed by the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs, and Civil Liberties.