Croatian Recipe: Peka for Vegetarians

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Expat Eats

Croatian Peka for vegetarians

This Expat Eats recipe comes from the Island of Vis. Well kind of…Ispod Peke or Ispod Cripnje to some translates to under the bell, and  Croatian Peka it’s one of the most fabulous ways of cooking here in Croatia. This vegetarian option is being shared with you from Craig & Xania from Wearactive.  They live on the Croatian island of Vis & offer guided activities and accommodation in their beautifully renovated old stone house.

Some time ago, I shared our secrets for cooking Ispod Peke, no huge secret to making a great Peka but rather a skill! If the veggie option does not tickle your fancy, you can see the meaty option we served up along with other recipes in our Croatian Cooking section.

Xania says

On Vis and within Dalmatia, the Croatian ‘peka’ is everyones absolute favourite dish. A peka is a slow cooked ‘under the bell’ baked dish. The dish is prepared usually about 4 hours in advance and traditionally on Vis you will be offered lamb, fish or octopus. Because at Wearactive we provide vegetarian food for our guests, Rokis, a fantastic Vis restaurant created a veggie peka.

Oliver Roki, the owner always serves it with a huge grin, shake of the head and a passing comment about the missing flesh. We love it though and our veggie guests really enjoy a slightly adapted Dalmatian dish. Our guests that are not veggie usually come from the restaurant raving about the tasty fish and super succulent lamb!

Ispod Peka - Chasing the Donkey #Croatia
Meat or Veggie for you?

Ingredients

Veggie Croatian peka serves 4

  • 2 quartered onions
  • 1kg quartered potatoes,
  • 3 chopped carrots
  • 5 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped aubergine/eggplant,
  • 1 chopped courgette/zucchini
  • 4 chopped tomatoes
  • drained tin of chickpeas
  • 100ml white wine
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning and a handful of fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon.

Method

Oil the circular baking dish, add potatoes, onions and carrots, garlic and some salt and pepper. Add half of the wine and a good splash of oil. Make the fire and pre heat both sides of the ‘Peka’ (Croatian cast Iron bell) Put the baking dish inside and cover with the Peka. Add charcoal both below and above the Peka. After 1 hour add the other vegetables, chickpeas and the rest of the wine. Add more charcoal on top of Peka and cook until ready, about 45 mins. Just before serving add a handful of chopped fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve hot with bread and a strong Red wine! We always eat the Peka with Rokis Plavac, a Vis island wine.

If you want to enjoy this dish, along with kayaking, swimming  & snorkeling on the Island of Vis, talk to Xania & Craig on their  website or and book in for some time out with them. We’d love to take the Baby Donkey over to see them this year, so we may see you there.

If you want to see what life on Vis is like, Zora their dog has this to show you…

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Comments (17)

  1. Yummmm. The dish itself is new to me but the combination of ingredients sounds really good.

    Sorry I’m popping over later than usual from #recipeoftheweek – Linky Tools went down! Thanks for linking up. I’ve Pinned and Tweeted this post and a fresh linky is open over on the blog x

  2. This Croatian veggie peka sounds good. Not sure I’ll ever make it to Croatia but enjoyed looking around at the photos. #SITSblogging

  3. We ate at Rokis and loved our peka. I didn’t realise that he made a vegetarian peka but it would be fun to try at home now that we have a recipe! I have a feeling it will taste better sitting in the garden at this fun restaurant with a glass or three of the local wine!

    1. Yes, I think you may be right there. Did you take a Peka tray home with you? Im not sure where to get them in Aust?!?

  4. We are planning to visit Croatia next winter, and as we are vegan we are a little anxious about finding food without animal products. The recipe looks fantastic, and seeing it makes us a little more confident that we can make it work 🙂

    1. Depending on which part of the country you are visiting, but you can find vegan dishes anywhere and everywhere. There are soups, cuspajz with veggies, traditional breads without eggs or milk (with all kinds of grains and seeds though), risotto with veggies and wine, almost all supermarkets have vegetarian or vegan food in their offer.
      Oddly enough, fruits and veggies everywhere. If you drink coffee, you might have trouble getting your coffee with soy milk, as not all have it, and I know of vegan restaurants and icecreams in Zagreb and Osijek, not on the coast though.

        1. Hope that it helps 🙂 The main catch is that it usually isn’t specified as vegan, more often it’s just called traditional. There are also some vegetarian/vegan traditional cookies available for purchase even in some souvenir shops. I actually know a lot of Croatians who are vegetarian, some vegan and they seem to get by quite well, but I can really only vouch for Zagreb and the mainland, as I know that Nishta is quite popular in Dubrovnik and well rated. In all of the country you can find vegan and healthy foods in supermarkets of all kinds, bio&bio is the most popular one. In Zagreb there are many choices, the evident and most popular one being vegehop, although most of the bistro’s and small restaurants offer a vegetarian or vegan meal in their menu. If your looking for all natural indredients without any addietives guaranteed, Ivica i Marica in Zagreb is great. A small all Croatian shop called voce i povrce svemoguce (fruit and vegetables almighty) has vegetarian/vegan employees who are well informed and often give out recipe’s of their own. Both they and vegehop sell homemade vegetarian dog/cat food and treats for pets which can be specially made if your pet is allergic.
          As for peka, apples with carrots and/or plums. With a drizzle of wine in there. Yummy

      1. I don’t know for restaurants but you have some Vegetarian/Vegan shop in Split. Many restaurants also have vegetarian meals, some of them have separate vegetarian menus.

  5. when I first saw the word vegetarian, I thought to myself that there are so many vegetarian options for the peka, with all the fantastic fish available. But this is strictly vegan. Can’t imagine anyone would even miss fish, anyway. Everything is so delicious ispod peka, even slow-roasted apples.

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