Last month, I shared my recipe for hobotnice na žaru (grilled octopus) and suggested serving it with a beautiful big bowl of blitva.
Blitva is a Croatian dish, which I do a little bit differently to how you might find it in some places in Croatia. Of course, the dish varies from region to region, but the recipe below is my favourite version. I have also made some modifications to suit my taste level. It's definitely a winner with everyone who shares it with me!
The traditional recipe uses swiss chard, but I much prefer baby spinach as I am not such a fan of swiss chard. However, you can use the traditional ingredients or even English spinach for a slight more astringent taste.
This dish goes well as a side with seafood but can also accompany meat or poultry quite nicely. It can also be reheated for leftovers.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
4 - 5 medium-sized potatoes (I use Yukon Gold where I can), peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 cup water
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
300g baby spinach
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, sauté the onions in half a cup of olive oil on low-medium heat for 10 minutes or until translucent.
2. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or until aromatic.
3. Add the potatoes and the remaining olive oil. Add the water and cover. Boil for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add paprika and cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper.
4. Remove the lid and allow to continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced considerably.
5. Add the baby spinach, turning mixture until spinach has wilted and potatoes, onions and spinach are well combined.
Serving suggestions: As I said in my last recipe post, I think blitva and freshly grilled octopus is a winning combination. This side dish is so easy and so delicious that it really can be paired with anything.