Storm clouds loomed threateningly above Mostar, Bosnia and winds whipped flags and awnings as we walked cobbled streets towards Stari Most, an ancient bridge destroyed during the Bosnian conflict in the 90’s and rebuilt.
Before it was sent crashing into the Neretva River, Stari Most had stood for 427 years. Nearly from the beginning, the bridge was irresistible to divers who wanted to show their bravery by plummeting into the frigid river below. The first recorded jump was in 1664, and in 1968 a formal diving competition was formed and held every summer until war made it impossible. Diving has resumed at Stari Most, and I hope it will continue for another 427 years.
As we approached Stari Most, we passed this intriguing gentleman who hollered warnings about the end of the world as he strode through Old Town Mostar. He made quite the dramatic figure all in white, his gray hair flying in the wind as he shouted.
The stones were slick under my sandals and I held on tight to the railing as we walked up the steep incline to the other side.
I loved looking at the city from Stari Most. The rumble of thunder, black clouds and strange sunlight made for a gripping vista.
We lingered awhile until suddenly the sunlight disappeared, the heavens opened and raindrops the size of large grapes pelted us with fury. Dry streets were rivers in minutes and we laughed in disbelief as water streamed off us, utterly drenching hair and clothes before we could find shelter. We splashed our way to the van, not even attempting to avoid puddles, and arrived soaked, dripping and laughing like mad.
It would’ve been the perfect night for Bosnian Spinach Pie. Similar to Greek Spanikopita, this phyllo pie features olive oil instead of butter, and a mixture of cheddar and feta cheeses. It also has a topping of sour cream and milk that keeps the pastry soft instead of brittle. It’s my new favorite thing.
This is my contribution to Wanderfood Wednesday hosted by the lovely Beth.
Bosnian Spinach Pie
1 package thawed phyllo pastry sheet
2 bags washed fresh spinach
2 medium eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Wash and drain spinach. Chop and place in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss until incorporated.
- Let spinach rest for 10-20 minutes.
- Squeeze excess water from spinach and transfer to glass bowl.
- Add eggs, sourcream, feta and cheddar. Mix well. Set aside.
- Grease 9″ by 13″ pan with olive oil. Lay one sheet in bottom (won’t fit exactly, but just press one layer) brush
- with olive oil. Fold over excess dough and brush with olive oil. Repeat with 3-4 sheets.
- Add third of filling and spread over oiled phyllo.
- Top with sheet of phyllo and brush with olive oil. Repeat with three sheets.
- Add next third of filling, three more sheets of phyllo, remainder of filling, and top with final 2-3 layers of phyllo,
- each layer brushed with olive oil.
- Place in oven and bake 45 minutes.
- Combine milk and sour cream. When timer goes off, pour over pie and bake another 15 minutes.