I’ve heard about Soparnik many times but didn’t make it till few months ago. And I can only blame myself for that, because it was eaten by the speed of the space rocket.
But first things first.
Soparnik is traditional Dalmatian dish, hundreds of years old. Or even older? The most famous and praised is Poljički soparnik from Poljica, region between Split and Omiš. This simple dish was first considered as fasting and/or food for the poor: simple dough made of plain flour, water, dash of salt and a splash of olive oil, filled with Swiss Chard and now it’s declared as intangible cultural heritage of Croatia.
Soparnik was baked on komin, special kind of, or rather say, part of the kitchen hearth with flat surface where it would be placed and covered with ember and then baked. Other names for Soparnik are Zeljanik, Soparnjak and Uljenjak.
And that’s not as near as easy as it sounds. Yes, it’s easy now when we have ovens and stuff but back in the days genuine Soparnik would be huge compared to one that I made. And when the savvy cook would assemble it, the more savvyness would she need to transfer it to the baking surface! Imagine that! Big, soft and wiggly pie! I’ll just say, more often than not, thank heavens for baking paper!
This recipe really has it all. The simplicity that came out of poverty but with all the neccessities of nutrients. Delicious, crispy dough, soft, aromatic filling: chard, onions and garlic, salt and olive oil.
As simple as all the best things in life are.
Soparnik. Traditional Croatian Swiss Chard Pie.
- 500 g flour
- 270 ml water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- good pinch of salt
- olive oil and water for brushing
- 300 g chard
- 100 g spring onions (or onions)
- handful fresh parsley leaves
- 2 cloves garlic (or garlic powder)
- 50 ml olive oil
Start your oven to heat to 200°C/400 F
Prepare the vegetables: wash the chard leaves, dry and cut them into the stripes. Slice the onions. Mince garlic. Cut parsley leaves.
Put the veggies, oil and salt into the bowl and toss well to combine.
Make the dough from enlisted ingredients. It should be soft but elastic and not sticky.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces that will make top and bottom for 2 pies.
Take 2 pieces of baking paper sized to your largest baking pan that can fit in the oven. Mine is around 40cmx40 cm (15x15 inches). Roll 2 pieces of dough thinly on baking papers. Take one rolled piece, spread half of the filling on it and then top it with second piece of rolled dough (remove it from baking paper).
Press the top with your palms so the pie gets thinner and the close the pie by twisting the dough's ends like on photos (or like you would close usual pie crust). Brush the pie with olive oil and prick it with a fork.
Do the same with other 2 pieces of dough.
Bake Soparnik at 200°C/400 F for 20 mins or till it gets nice, golden and crispy.
Immediately when you take it out of the oven, brush Soparnik with oil-water mixture. It will soften the pie. Don't go with too much brushing, just brush the whole surface but don't make it soggy.
I made this recipe on my Croatian blog too, at Mirisna teka.
Don’t forget to pin the recipe for later!