Some of Malta’s best loved traditional dishes are taking on an entirely different form, inspiring innovative recreations at Michelin-rated restaurants across the islands. To start off this four-part series on recreated traditional dishes by the highest rated restaurants on the island, is a spotlight on:
The humble qassata is a local favourite fast food, and is the inspiration behind a dish that made its way to the menu at Noni, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Valletta, earlier this year.
Founder and award-winning Chef Jonathan Brincat is the brains behind the dish, drawing inspiration from one of the key ingredients within it: spinach. “The inspiration started from celebrating the spinach mainly,” he explains, noting that the qassata was the first thing he associated with the ingredient.
“Our version of qassata is made with a flaky butter shortcrust pastry, with salt cod instead of tuna, as it has more flavour and retains moisture in the dish. It also features two elements of spinach – one is sautéed with confit leeks and preserved lemon, and the other is a set purée.
“Finally, three small slices of the finest Cantabrian anchovies are added for sweetness and umami. To set the whole dish, we use smoked haddock foam to give it a light and smokey flavour, finishing it off with N25 Oscietra caviar and spring leaves,” the chef describes.
Rather than improving on the original source of inspiration, Jonathan believes the dish acts as a celebration of it, to “elevate a humble Maltese staple and showcase it using the same ingredients but of better quality, with more refined techniques and precision.”
This feature was first carried in the summer 2022 edition of Business Now magazine, the sister brand to BusinessNow.mt, produced by Content House Group
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