Soparnik. I first met you in 2016, it was the morning after a few too many Karlovačko on the island of korčula. The sun was burning through my clothes, and my fair Irish skin was beginning to resemble the shell of a freshly cooked lobster. I was in need of something light and tasty, anything with a large amount of garlic would hit the spot. And there you were, on a corner of a street, your garlicky perfume luring me towards your equally heat blistered skin, and that is exactly the moment I fell in love with Croatian food!
Now these aren’t the real thing, as much as I would like to tell you they are, but they’re not, you will have to live with that, jebiga. Soparnik is a bread, stuffed with chard, wilted in garlic and olive oil. Its baked on the open fire and the top is covered with hot coals, which scorches the bread, and imparts a toasty char to the whole thing. This flat-bread can be served as a light lunch or a snack, and typically goes great with a chilled glass of Plavac mali, one of the most famous wines in Croatia.
I make these mini ones by getting the baking dish roasting hot before setting the raw little disks into the oven. They are a bit “fiddly” to make, but are a joy to eat, and an interesting addition to your party food repertoire.
I use both garlic cloves, and young garlic shoots from the garden to really “beef up” the flavor. The cloves are intense and give a bit of heat, whilst the shoots are sweet and aromatic.
Since this is such a basic recipe, its essential to use top quality ingredients. That means super fresh chard, good garlic and the best olive oil you can find, which is easy for me, since Croatia literally have the best olive oil in the world.
Dosta moje filozofije, evo recepta, idemo delat 😉
500 g glatkog brašna
1 žličica soli
5 žlice maslinova ulja
340 ml vode (mlake)
1 kg blitve
1 žlica soli
50 ml maslinova ulja
60 g Mladog češnjaka ili mladog luka
50 ml maslinova ulja
2 češnja češnjaka
Zamijesite tijesto od brašna, soli, maslinova ulja i vode dok tijesto ne postane glatko, otprilike pet minuta. Pokrite krpom i ostavite da se odmori, nekih sat vremena.
Blitvu operite i odrežite bijele dijelove stabljike. Narežite na rezance i “utrljajte” sol, stavite u plastičnu vrećicu, napravite rupice. Na vrećicu stavite neku težinu (npr. Limenku graha) i pustite da se blitva ocijedi.
Za premaz: usitnite česnjak sa malo soli i pomiješajte sa maslinovim uljem.
Narežite mladi češnjak i stavite ga sa strane.
Istisnite višak tekućine iz blitve, i prosušite ju u krpi. Sotirajte blitvu i mladi češnjak na maslinovu ulju i po želji dodajte soli i papra. Stavite sa strane da se ohladi.
Prepolovite tijesto na dva jednaka dijela i izvaljajte svaku polovicu na otprilike 0,5 mm debljine.
Čašom izrežite krugove (od ove količine dobit ćete otprilike 40 krugova), dobivene krugove izbodite vilicom.
Na krug stavite jednu žlicu nadjeva od blitve, premažite vanjski dio kruga vodom, i jos jednim krugom preklopite prvi. Utisnite krajeve prstima.
Zagrijte pećnicu i lim na 200C, staviti mini soparnik da se peče 7 min, zatim ih okrenite i pecite još 7-10min. Izvadite iz pećnice I dobro premažite ranije napravljenim premazom.
For the Dough:
500g plain flour
1 tsp. salt
5 dessert sp. EVOO
340 ml tepid water
1 kg chard/mangold
1 tsp. salt
50 ml EVOO
60 g wild garlic/spring garlic/spring onion
50 ml EVOO
2 cloves of garlic
For the dough: Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, add the water and oil and knead until smooth, about 5 mins. Cover with a dry cloth and leave to rest for 1 hour.
Wash the chard, strip the green leaves from the stems. Cut the leaves into ribbons, rub in a little salt to help remove the liquid, and place in a plastic bag with a few holes in it, put something heavy on top, and leave to drain.
For the brushing oil: crush the garlic with a little salt and mix with the oil.
Finley chop the wild garlic.
Dry the chard in a cloth and sauté with some EVOO and the wild garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
When the dough is rested, spit in two, and roll each half out until about ½ cm thick. With a glass cut out about 40 smaller circles and jab each a few times with a fork (this will prevent the mini soparnik from rising too much in the oven).
Put 1 tsp. of the chard mix inside one disk of dough, and place another on top like a ravioli (rub a little water around the edge to help it stick).
Preheat the oven and baking tray to 200 C, bake the soparnik on one side for 7 minutes, turn and bake for another 7-10 minutes, or until golden and brown. Remove from the oven and brush generously with the garlic oil. Enjoy.