For centuries Dubrovnik was an affluent and powerful place, her coffers filled with the wealth of her prosperous sea faring trade.
Alas, after the devastating earthquake of 1667, the mighty Republic of Dubrovnik began to decline.
1n 1669 it sold two patches of land to the Ottomans as insurance against advancing Venetian forces. Today those patches belong to Bosnia-Herzegovina and are the only points of contact that country has with the Adriatic.
In the early 1800’s Russian-Montenegrin fleets besieged Dubrovnik, lobbing over 3000 cannonballs in the process. In 1806 Dubrovnik surrendered to Napoleon’s forces with the understanding that they simply needed free passage and weren’t interested in occupation. Sadly this was not the case. The French blockaded the harbor and soon Dubrovnik’s streets were filled with French soldiers.
On this day all flags and coats of arms above the city walls were painted black as a sign of mourning.
By 1808 the Republic was abolished, its land and people absorbed into Napoleon’s Kingdom of Italy.
Thankfully that’s not the end of the story. Before too long a certain group of Austrians arrived on the scene and things really started to get interesting.
In the meantime, I’m digging into a fabulous Croatian salad from Sopovo. It is like a milder, spicier Greek salad with tomatoes, green pepper, hot peppers, and feta cheese. The white wine vinaigrette is savory and light and sets off the fresh vegetables beautifully.
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 Hot green pepper, minced
1/2 Green peppers, diced
2 Tbsp White wine vinegar
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Feta, cubed
- Place tomatoes, peppers and green peppers in large bowl.
- In small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and garlic. Pour over vegetables and toss gently to coat.
- Top with feta and parsley.