Recipe: Cheese and vegetable gratin

Recipe: Cheese and vegetable gratin Riċetta: Krosta bil-ġobon mimlija bil-ħaxix tal-istaġun

Ara din ir-riċetta bil-Malti: Riċetta: Krosta bil-ġobon mimlija bil-ħaxix tal-istaġun

The dough for this pie is made with cheese and polenta to create a crunchy crust that makes and ideal base for roasted vegetables. This is an unusual but delicious dish that is ideal served as a first course.

Serves: 8


For the pastry:

  • 150 g wholemeal flour
  • 90 g  grated cheddar cheese
  • 75 g polenta
  • 90 ml butter, cut into small pieces
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 45 ml cold water


  • 2 leeks, only the white and light green parts, washed and roughly chopped
  • 450 g broccoli florets
  • 2 small or 1 large fennel bulb, cleaned and sliced lengthwise
  • 75  g red onion, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 garlic head
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 15 ml sherry vinegar
  • 80 ml black olive paste
  • 45 g dry white goats cheeselets (ġbejniet), crumbled


  1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
  2. To make the filling: place the leeks, broccoli and fennel bulbs in a single layer on a baking sheet or dish, together with the unpeeled head of garlic. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary and drizzle with olive oil, and mix to ensure everything is coated. Bake for 35-45 minutes, turning the veg every so often. Take the dish out of the oven and remove the garlic head. Sprinkle the remaining vegetables with the sherry vinegar and mix well. Allow to cool.
  3. To make the pastry: grease a 28 cm round baking tin or a 20 cm x 30 cm rectangular tin with butter. Place the butter and flour in a large bowl and rub until the mixture is flaky. Add the cheddar cheese and polenta and mix all together. Add the water and oil to combine the ingredients together into a crumbly dough. Turn the dough into the tin and spread it along the bottom and sides; press to make it hold. Refrigerate until required.
  4. When the vegetables are ready, reduce the temperature to 180 C. Bake the pastry for 15 minutes until it solidifies but does not turn golden.
  5. Place the baking tin on a baking sheet and spread the olive paste on the bottom of the pastry. Spread the roasted vegetables.
  6. Remove the top part of the garlic head and squeeze each clove out of its peel onto the vegetables.
  7. Sprinkle with crumbled cheeselets and bake for 25 minutes or until the edges of the pastry turn golden.

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