Thursday, April 2, 2009

What I Wouldn't do for a Ftira Right Now

Last year, I was fortunate enough to travel to the islands of Malta. Having just arrived on the sister island of Gozo, I sat at the patio of the St. Patricks hotel, and wanted lunch. They had 2 sandwiches on the menu: a club sandwich and a Ftira. I had no idea what a ftira was, what it had in it, but I knew I needed one.

It turns out that "Ftira" does not refer to the fillings, it refers to the bread. The bread has a dark crust & a soft center. I'm not sure what it is about the bread, but it is much better than the italian breads I have had so far. As with most sandwiches, the filling is important, but the right bread is essential. A bagel with cream cheese is better than cream cheese on toast, a bocadillo is not the same in a dinner roll. The bakery down the street has good crispy bread with a soft filling and this is the bread I will use today.

Sandwiches are one of my favourite lunch foods. They are an easy food which can be enjoyed anywhere, but the best place to have them is on a beach. I gained the inspiration for my lunch today on the beaches of Nice (think Pan Bagnat) and the waterfront of Xlendi Bay.

Today is a deliciously sunny day, and although I don't have a sunny Xlendi Bay to look over while I eat my lunch, I can still sit on the balcony, eat my fake ftira, enjoy the sun and the view.

Fake Tuna Ftira
1 loaf of crusty bread (ca. 250g)
1 can water-packed tuna
1 can tuna in olive oil
3 small tomatoes, seeded & chopped
2 sundried tomatotes, chopped
1 Tbps chopped olive
1 Tbsp chopped capers
1 Tbsp pesto
1 Tbsp chopped red onion
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Handfull of arugula

Drain water-packed tuna. Do not drain olive oil packed tuna. Place both tunas in mixing bowl. Add all ingredients except bread & arugula. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.

Slice open loaf of bread. Pull out a little of the bread, to make room for the filling. Place arugula on bottom half, spoon tuna mixture on to top half, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to sit in the fridge for up to 1 hour.


Cathy said...

I want to come and live with you!!!! The travelling you are doing sounds amazing! Much better than being stuck in Canada ;)

tastetraveller said...

Canada is good & I really do miss it, but I love how "close" everything is in Europe.
Dare I mention that I am off to Venice right now? You have no idea how much I am looking forward to Bellinis & carpaccio at Harry's Bar! :-)

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