A traditional Croatian homestyle recipe, also known as blitva, is made with boiled potatoes and leafy Swiss chard all coated in a buttery garlic sauce.
Blitva originates from South Croatia in the hot weather regions of Dalmatia where collared greens grow plentiful. The dish comes together easily and conveniently with just the use of one pot to cook all the ingredients.
Variations when Preparing Blitva
The soft red skin from the baby potatoes and vibrant greens of the Swiss chard make this a lovely and colorful side dish. Alternatively, you can also use yukon gold potatoes, which will taste just as delicious but will obviously not appear as colorful.
Additionally, you can also use kale leaves in place of Swiss chard when preparing blitva.
If you overcook the potatoes, don’t worry! You can easily make this a mashed potato and Swiss chard dish instead. Simply mash the overcooked potatoes after straining the broth.
Blitva: Croatian Swiss Chard and Potatoes
- 6 cups red-skin potatoes (or can use yukon potatoes)
- 3 cups swiss chard, cut into 2” long pieces
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash potatoes well before cooking. Leave the skin on the potatoes, no need to peel.
- Leave the potatoes whole if small enough (about 1 to 1 ½” diameter), otherwise cut potatoes in half or quarters.
- Add the potatoes to a pot of boiling salted water and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, wash swiss chard and chop into 2” long pieces.
- Add the swiss chard to the boiling water (after potatoes have been cooking for 20 minutes).
- Continue cooking over medium heat for another 10 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Drain water but keep ½ cup of the potato and swiss chard broth.
- In a separate pan, melt ½ cup butter with chopped garlic and chopped parsley.
- Add the potatoes and swiss chard and the ½ cup of broth to the pan.
- Stir until combined and remove from heat. Add more salt is needed. Serve while still hot.
Serve blitva while hot and along side a fresh garden salad, sliced tomato salad with basil , crispy chicken strips or delicious pig roast.
And be sure to check out this post on how to cook Swiss chard which includes additional chard recipe ideas.
Looking for more Croatian homestyle recipes?
If you’re like us and enjoy the taste and flavors of traditional Croatian cooking, you’ll love these delicious homestyle recipes:
- Classic palačinke batter recipe
- Easy crepes with leftover chicken
- Homestyle crispy chicken strips
- Baka’s Scrumptious Apple Pita
- Ultimate Non-creamy potato salad
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