Soparnik is a Croatian pie with a filling consisting of chard, onion and parsley. It is traditionally prepared in Poljica, near the Omiš hinterland. Generally prepared in a round shape, soparnik is often served on special occasions.
The dish was frequently referred to as ‘poor dry food’ as it was mostly eaten by the poor citizens of Poljica who could produce very little fresh food. The dish was typically prepared during Lent, All Saints’ Day, Christmas, and several other occasions. Traditionally, it is baked in a stone oven, also known as a komuna, and then covered with embers. Once it’s baked, it is then covered with olive oil and garlic.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The origin of soparnik is known to date back to the era of the Republic of Poljica and Turkish voyages to the Croatian coast and Dalmatian hinterland.
The climate of Poljica undergoes severe heat and drought, while its soils are extremely poor for cultivation. Hence, these climatic settings led people to poverty, only allowing them access to simple raw ingredients.
The women of the area then began to make soparnik, a simple ceremonial pie made especially for the poor and for special occasions. Soparnik was considered to be the chief dish for laborers and it was draped in pig bladder skin, so it could be long-lasting.
Once the labourers were done with the meal, the tradition was to drink water combined with tartaric acid. That mixture acted as the key source of refreshment and strength for the laborers.
However, now this dish is considered an expensive specialty with a protected geographical indication at the level of the European Union.
Croatian Soparnik Recipe
- Chard - 2.2 lb
- Onion - 1
- Garlic - 2 cloves
- Pastry flour - 4 cups
- Olive oil - 4 tbsp
- Water - 1 ½ cup
- Oil - 4 tbsp
- Parsley (finely chopped) - 2 tbsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Vegeta (all-purpose seasoning) - 1 tbsp
- Begin by heating up the oven to 350 °F.
- Add flour, salt, oil and water to a bowl and combine to prepare a firm dough.
- Divide the dough into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Cover with a cloth and keep it aside for about 15 minutes.
- It’s time to clean the chard and chop it into small pieces.
- Add the chopped onion and parsley to the bowl with the chard.
- Combine all the ingredients well.
- Next, take the bigger chunk of dough and roll it out.
- Transfer it to a baking sheet and add the chard mixture on top.
- Now, take the smaller piece and roll it out too. Place it over the chard.
- Press the ends of the dough and connect the upper dough to the lower, making sure the filling doesn’t come out.
- Allow the soparnik to bake for around 35 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop the garlic and add it to the olive oil. Keep aside.
- Once the pie is done being cooked, take it out of the oven and brush it with the freshly prepared olive oil and garlic mixture while it is still hot.
- Allow it to cool down for some time, and then cut it into triangles or squares and serve!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 739mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 7g