Blitva {Spinach & Potato}

This is a classic vegetable dish found all up and down the Dalmatian coastline, and will be listed on pretty much every menu. It’s as simple as silverbeet and potatoes {not always potatoes but usually} and is served as a side dish. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of silverbeet
  • 3 – 4 medium size potatoes, Desiree are excellent
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • juice of one lemon
  • the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on

Begin by preparing the spinach. Cut off all the stems, trim away any dark parts, and chop them into bite size pieces. Make sure you cut away as much stalk from the leaves as you can, and wash well.

Wash the leaves, and tear them into two or three pieces, depending on the size of each leaf. Peel and dice the potatoes, not too small, about 3 – 4 cm. Put a large pot of water on to boil, with enough water to boil the stems and potatoes {the leaves will later steam on top}.

When the water comes to the boil salt it well, then add the potatoes and spinach stems. Put the lid on and let them boil for about ten to fifteen minutes, or until almost cooked. It’s all ultimately quite soft so don’t worry about overcooking anything.

Add the silverbeet leaves to the pot, just pop them on top of the potatoes and stems, you don’t need to mix them through, they will steam and wilt on top. Boil for approximately another five minutes, or until the leaves are soft and cooked through.

Strain off as much of the cooking water as you can. Dress the spinach with the salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and enough olive oil to coat it WELL! Stir everything through, you actually want be quite vigorous here, using a wooden spoon to mash it all up somewhat. 

Blitva is traditionally served with grilled or barbecued fish, but speaking for myself, there is NOTHING I wouldn’t eat it with!

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