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Bosnian Mountains and Balkan Cevapi

After our wild drive through the back country of Bosnia and discovering this oh-so-gorgeous lake, we continued to meander through thickly-forested mountains, catching our breath at towering cliffs, turquoise lakes, and pristine rivers cascading through deep, rocky gorges. Although five members of our party were very talkative womenfolk, silence reigned as we gazed in absolute awe and delight at the stunning vistas on every side. I felt that we had stumbled into a magical fairyland. THIS was where giants lived and trolls fought and beautiful maidens spun things in tiny cabins deep in the forest.

In homage to this beautiful country, I researched some of the exquisite food we ate while we were there, and stumbled upon recipes for a dish I absolutely loved: cevapi.

Looking very much like American breakfast sausages, these lovely morsels are a combination of ground beef, lamb and pork, mixed with onions and garlic, and are served in flat bread or pita and topped with an assortment of condiments depending on the specific Balkan region you’re in.

I did not have ground lamb or pork, so I substituted half a ham. I grated it finely and added it to the beef, mixed in grated onion, pepper, salt, finely minced garlic, 1 tsp of baking soda and an egg white to bind it together. Taking a small handful of meat mix, I molded it into the shape of a breakfast link, repeating until all the meat was used, then covered the cevapi and chilled it for an hour. (The combination is not very wet and must be chilled for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld and the mixture to bind.) Finally I fried them until they were nicely browned on all sides.

Traditionally they are served on bread with ajvar (a roasted pepper spread), diced onions, diced bell peppers, tomatoes, and sour cream. I skip the bread entirely and pile on the condiments, or simply dip them in grainy mustard for a quick afternoon snack. They are splendid hot or cold. ๐Ÿ™‚

This post has been entered into the Grantourismo HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competition.

Rambling Tart version of Cevapi


1 pound ground beef
2 cups grated ham (traditionally made with 1/2 pound ground pork and 1/2 pound ground lamb)
4 cloves minced garlic
1 red onion, grated
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg white
Salt and pepper to taste (you won’t need much salt at all if you use ham instead of ground pork/lamb)
Flat bread or pita
Toppings: ajar, chopped onion, bell pepper, tomato and sour cream.


  1. Mix everything.
  2. Mold into breakfast link sized pieces. Chill for 1 hour.
  3. Fry or grill until browned on all sides.
  4. Serve with flat bread/pita, chopped onion, bell pepper, tomato and sour cream.
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Dusk in Bosnia and a Dollop of Ajvar » Rambling Tart - […] ajvar is a rich, savory sauce that goes beautifully with so many things. I love it as a dip for Bosnian Cevapi, or spread thickly on dark rye bread topped with bacon or […]

Bosnian Rooftops and Borscht with Apples » Rambling Tart - […] through fairytale mountains…we emerged into a valley and began driving through beautiful little villages clustered along […]

michaellek - Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

Nicole - I love the green water and the photo of the man on the road. It looks like it was a lovely trip!

Tweets that mention Bosnian Mountains and Balkan Cevapi ยป Rambling Tart -- Topsy.com - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by laradunston, laradunston, laradunston, laradunston, laradunston and others. laradunston said: RT @ramblingtart: @Gran_tourismo @HomeAwayUK My Submission: Bosnian Mountains and Balkan Cevapi http://bit.ly/bpMCIN #GrantourismoComp […]

lara dunston - I love how this is both a travel and food post. Delish! Love ajvar too – we ate a lot of it in Montenegro a few months ago. Thank you so much for entering our September Grantourismo competition! Best of luck!

RamblingTart - Oh good, Jessie! I hope you enjoy it. ๐Ÿ™‚

RamblingTart - Thank you, Nursing. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad you came by. ๐Ÿ™‚

jessiev - making this tonight – yum! thanks!

RamblingTart - Thank you very much, Lana! It is such a gorgeous country! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lana - What stunning pics, just look at the colour of the water, so beautiful!

RamblingTart - I know it, Joumana! It was all so stunning and unexpected. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I would love your favorite book, and will have to see if I can track it down. ๐Ÿ™‚

RamblingTart - Thank you, Jennifer! They absolutely thrill my heart too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Makes me want to go exploring right now!!

tasteofbeirut - Bosnia looks so beautiful and how can people chatter with sceneries like this? I read in my favorite book (“Les Horreurs de l’Amour”, Jean Dutour) that God is felt in natural surroundings like this.
That dish that you made sounds delicious! I love the combo of meat and the subtle spices.

Jennifer - Oh my gosh, these photos are spectacular!

RamblingTart - It is amazing, isn’t it, Threading? ๐Ÿ™‚ Sigh, I miss it. ๐Ÿ™‚

threading in the choirs - what marvelous foliage!

RamblingTart - I’m happy you like the photos, Lola! I hope you enjoy the cevapi – I’ve been eating them for a couple of meals now and just love them. ๐Ÿ™‚

lola - gorgeous pictures. i’m jealous. and i’ll have to try this recipe, it sounds great!

RamblingTart - Thank you, dear Joanne! I feel exactly the same way. I can breathe easy here. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m so glad you see the fairytale-ish-ness too. ๐Ÿ™‚

The cevapi are marvy. I’m a huge fan. ๐Ÿ™‚

Joanne - First of all, I love the new blog layout! It is so much more soothing then the old one…very fitting for your personality!

These pictures definitely do look like they are straight out of a fairy tale…I almost expect to see Snow White and the seven dwarfs leap out from somewhere.

Your cevapi look delicious!

RamblingTart - I’m so glad you like them too, Valerie! It made me so happy to revisit that gorgeous day today. ๐Ÿ™‚

Valerie - Delicious scenery and gorgeous food, what a perfect day! I can almost picture those giants and trolls living in such an enchanted place.

RamblingTart - Yes, I sure do, Sarah! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s deliciously inviting. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, I hope it works for you to go back! I’d fly over in a hot second if I could. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll be looking forward to stories from your trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sarah, Maison Cupcake - Don’t you just want to dive into that green lake. The cevapi look great, I expect to go back to Montenegro in the autumn, I hope that this time we get to try some different food instead of being stuck in Mother in Law rut of same stuff they have every day!!!

RamblingTart - Your comment made me laugh, Mary, because we DID forget to eat until way late in the day. Then we were STARVING!! ๐Ÿ™‚

RamblingTart - Oh, I hope you do, Zizi! And then I want to hear all about it and see YOUR gorgeous pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mary - With scenery so beautiful surrounding me I would forget to eat. Your cevapi sounds like it would be perfect for a brunch or holiday breakfast. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

Zita - I absolutely want to visit Bosnia as well. It’s close to Hungary as Slovenia and I haven’t been these countries!!! Gorgeous photos! ๐Ÿ™‚

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