When I was still in Slovenia I remembered that I had a friend, actually, that once I met a Croatian young woman in a language course. I didn’t only ask her for a place to sleep, but also for a vegan dish. At first she told me that there is no such thing in Croatia, but for sure she could help me find a place to stay with some of her friends.
On a second email she told me that she had found a typical Croatian vegan dish: Soparnik!
I had the chance to try it when I got to the capital, but I didn’t get the recipe, as the Veganodissey was just an idea (and not a reality like right now …). Luckily Javi got a Croatian girlfriend a few months later and she told the Soparnik recipe, or better, she translated her mother’s recipe and sent it to me. Thanks Maja and Maja’s mother!
She also wrote me an introduction to this dish, so it saves me some time to find some info about it:
“Soparnik is a special dish originating from the region of Poljica in the continental or mountainous part of Croatian Dalmatia. As is the case of most of the dishes in the region, this one has also been taken over from Turkish cuisine. It is a very simple dish, a kind of pie with chard, garlic, parsley and dough, baked in a special kind of stone or earth oven, on a wooden plate, covered with embers“
So here we go with the recipe:
For the dough
– A pinch of salt
– 2 tbls of olive oil
For the filling:
– Swiss chard
– Olive oil
For the coating:
– Olive oil
Separate the green leaves of the chard from their stems and wash them thoroughly. Dry them out and cut into thin ribbons. Add finely chopped garlic and parsley, salt and pour olive oil over the mixture.
For the dough mix flour salt, olive oil and slowly as much water as needed while kneading it. Separate the dough into two equal parts and leave it to rise for a little while. Put it on a wooden board that you previously sprinkled with flour and stretch it to get a very thin layer and shape it according to the size of the tray (traditionally a large round one).
Spread the mixture of chard, garlic and parsley onto the dough and cover it with the second layer, made out of the second part of the dough. Fold the ends of the lower layer over the ends of the top one to prevent the air coming in between. Take a fork and stab the top layer with it in a few places to make it easier for the steam to get out.
Bake Soparnik on 200°C for 20 min. It is done when its color changes to a golden-brownish tone. After taking it out of the oven, spread some olive oil with crushed garlic on the top and cut it into diamond-shaped pieces.