Blitva: Croatian-Style Greens and Potatoes
Blitva means Swiss chard in Croatian. This dish is found all over the Dalmatian region of Croatia. The dish is quite simple – just Swiss chard, potatoes, garlic and olive oil. But the combination is magical and also quite versatile. While it is traditional to make this dish with chard, any firm leafy green will work. Here you see it with collard greens and Lacinato kale. Blitva is a perfect side dish with meat or fish but also pairs beautifully with a poached egg for brunch or all by itself as a hearty and healthy snack.
- ½ pounds Idaho® potatoes, peeled, ¾˝ dice
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 bunch Swiss chard or an equivalent amount of firm leafy greens such as kale or collards
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Red pepper flakes to taste, optional
- Cook the potatoes until just tender in a wide microwaveable dish, covered, for about 6 minutes. The length of time will depend on your microwave, so start checking at about 4 minutes. You want the potatoes just fork tender but not too soft, since they will be cooked in the sauté pan for a few minutes as well.
- In a large, unheated sauté pan, add the olive oil and sliced garlic. Turn heat to medium and allow the garlic flavor to permeate the oil.
- Once the oil begins to bubble and the garlic begins to cook, turn heat to medium-high and add the microwaved, tender potatoes. Cook until potatoes begin to brown on the edges. This will take 3–5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the potatoes and garlic to a bowl, reserving the oil in the sauté pan.
- Add the greens to the pan and cook on medium-high heat. If using chard, add the stems to the pan first, cook for a minute or so then add the leafy green part. Cook for about 3 minutes total, adding additional salt and pepper and some hot pepper flakes if you like.
- Add the potatoes back to the pan and mix to combine with the greens. Taste for seasoning, adjust if needed and serve.
Idaho® red or Yukon gold potatoes would be delicious in this dish as well. You can also use a higher ratio of greens or potatoes to your preference.