A Croatian staple – the humble blitva

More commonly known as Swiss Chard.  It’s not something we ever ate in the UK but here in Croatia this leafy and very nutritious green vegetable is commonly used in a side dish to accompany fresh fish. We’ve had varying qualities of blitva s krumpirom (swiss chard with potatoes), sometimes a bit too salty, not enough garlic or olive oil or over cooked swiss chard (reminding me of the sunday afternoon smell of “boiled to death cabbage”  in my nan’s kitchen!). Not that I would dare to critique a Croatian person’s Croatian dish!

It is easy to make and something different to the usual potato dish and you can find a straight forward recipe here http://livelonger.hubpages.com/hub/Biserkas_Recipes

Swiss chard is full of healthy nutrients

However there are only so many times I can eat potatoes and swiss chard and so the  risotto with swiss chard and gorgonzola I stirred up in the week was delicious. Just cook up a standard risotto and towards the end of cooking throw in a few handfuls of swiss chard. The steam and heat will soften the vegetable, but will leave a delicious crispy bite. Then turn off the heat and add some gorgonzola, enough to suit your own taste. I also added carrotts to mine. Photo below – I only remembered to take a snap towards the end of the meal and of course it was washed down with a Croatian white!

I am not a  good cook but love food and it’s fun experimenting with new ingredients. Korcula is an island of  “organic” produce – all year round you will find something growing, from winter swiss chards and Dalmatian greens, to summer juicy fruits of peaches and berries. As well as eating food I also love to talk about it, so will be sure to bring you some more culinary delights from the Korcula Explorer kitchen!

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