Translated to ‘bread with oil’ Hobs Biz-Zejt is a Maltese staple, second only to pastizzi. In the Portelli household, this meal is typically thrown together for an impromptu Sunday gathering with friends or extended family. The best thing about Hobs Biz-Zejt is that the toppings change depending on the season, or which pickled goods are ready to eat! The base of the recipe always remains the same – good quality ciabatta crusty bread sliced thick with tomato paste and good quality olive oil.
Many of the elements that make up our Hobs Biz-Zejt are homemade. Mum preserves her own tuna in olive oil with a peppercorn and bayleaf, as well as the pickled onion, which is simply sliced red onion in vinegar and oil. The olives used in this recipe are from my dad Peter’s 2009 batch of green olives.
Every family does Hobs Biz-Zejt differently but to be honest, it’s hard to get it wrong! Simply pop the lids off your ripened and pickled goods, and start stacking! Cutlery not necessary.