Flavours from Croa­tia’s south­ern coast

Cel­e­brat­ing all the fruits of Croa­tia’s south­ern coast­line

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - NEWS - Amy Bryant

‘DALMATIA IS A RE­GION de­fined by the sea, with white-peb­bled beaches, azure-blue sky and the myr­iad is­lands that sparkle like jew­els in the crys­tal clear Adri­atic.’ If the in­tro­duc­tion to Ino Ku­vacic’s cookbook doesn’t have you googling the next flight out to Split, then his recipes just might. Wild lo­cal as­para­gus with scram­bled eggs and shaved truf­fles; crispy yeasted bread to dip into sweet wine; monk­fish baked in a rich tomato sauce with white beans.

‘In Croa­tia, we have a say­ing that fish swim three times: in the sea, in olive oil and in wine,’ says Ku­vacic, who grew up in Split, where an­cient culi­nary meth­ods in­clude cook­ing tuna in red wine for 45 min­utes. He now lives in Aus­tralia, serv­ing the food of his child­hood (in­clud­ing his father ’s cut­tle­fish stew) from his restau­rant in Mel­bourne. In

Dalmatia (Hardie Grant, £20), he cel­e­brates the dishes of Croa­tia’s south­ern coast, ar­eas where veg­eta­bles and seafood form the sta­ple diet and meat is a rare, spe­cial-oc­ca­sion lux­ury. Meals are ei­ther slowly cooked in the case of stews or risot­tos, or whipped up, since what more does a catch from the lo­cal fish mar­ket, or peskar­ija, re­quire than a hot pan and squeeze of lemon?

Clock­wise from top Šibenik; daily life on the Dalmatia coast; fresh pro­duce at a tra­di­tional pazar

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