16 Jun


I’ve yet to visit Croatia, but I’ve heard wonderful things about the food. So I feared my version of soparnik had done the Croatians a disservice in our World Cup 2018 cook-off.

In this Dalmatian classic, a simple filling of chopped greens, onions and garlic is pressed between two thin layers of pastry and baked until golden and crisp.

It sounded lovely, but the first bite was a little underwhelming. But as it sat a little longer, pastry and filling merged into a more cohesive whole, the pastry softened and the flavour emerged.

In terms of making soparnik, I found the pastry a pleasure to work with. Once it had rested, I could easily roll it to a translucent tenderness – and move it – without it tearing.

Unable to find Swiss chard for the filling, I used cavolo nero (or lacinato kale) instead.

I looked at several soparnik recipes online (which were all very similar) varying mainly in the amount of soparnik they produce.

(makes 1 the size of a standard baking sheet)

For the dough:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 2/3 cup water

For the filling:

  • a large bunch of Swiss chard (or cavolo nero)
  • a small bunch of parsley
  • one medium onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  1. In a mixing bowl, season the flour with salt and pepper. Stir in the olive oil, followed by most of the water.
  2. Stir, then knead, until you have a smooth, elastic dough, adjusting the amount of flour or water if necessary. Cover with a tea towel and set aside.
  3. To make the filling, strip the chard leaves from the stalks. Roughly chop the leaves and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Stir to combine.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  6. When the dough has rested for about 30 minutes, divide it in half. Roll out one portion into a large, thin rectangle the size of your baking sheet. (I did this on the parchment paper itself to help me get the dimensions right.) Transfer the pastry to the baking sheet.
  7. Spread the filling evenly across the pastry, leaving a centimeter around the edges.
  8. Roll out the second portion of pastry to the same dimensions. Lay it carefully on top of the filling, and press the edges together to seal.
  9. Prick the soparnik all over with a fork, and brush with olive oil.
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  11. Leave to rest for at least 15 minutes, then cut into diamond-shaped pieces and serve.

Family score: 8.8 out of 10



3 Responses to “Soparnik”

  1. Margo June 16, 2018 at 4:24 pm #

    Got sidetracked here to the more tasty sounding option of spanakopita (a favorite of mine). Will have to try your version.

  2. JACKIE MCLAUGHLIN June 18, 2018 at 1:58 pm #

    Oh…you are doing your World Cup recipe thing….how wonderful! This looks good but I don’t ‘do’ pastry…unless it is frozen puffed left out to thaw…enjoy the games!

    • Andrea June 19, 2018 at 2:00 pm #

      Thanks, Jackie! I completely get your position on pastry –– life is short, you’ve got to choose your battles and so on… I must say that I have never had an easier time with thin pastry than with this recipe. 🙂

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