My favorite part of Czech Easter isn’t feeling the harsh lash of the pomlázka, but making nádivka, a traditional dish resembling a breakfast strata that has been laced with nettles and flecked with ham.
I have used this faithful recipe from our archives for many years and it never fails to turn out a really fluffy, flavorful stuffing (even though nádivka is baked in a separate pan, not inside a bird or a rabbit, it is still considered stuffing).
Turns out I’m not the only Easter stuffing fanatic—the fervor for nádivka is so intense that last year Slow Food Czech Republic organized an inaugural best Easter stuffing competition.
This Saturday (March 19) sees the second annual outing of the contest at the farmer’s market in Spořilov.
I spoke with Ms. Eva Rýznerová, a Slow Food board member who told me that, “The aim of the competition is to revive traditional dishes, to protect Czech culinary heritage, and to celebrate community and neighbourhood.”
Last year some 500 people attended the market to sample a wide selection of nádivka spanning generations of Czech family stuffing recipes.
Says Ms. Rýznerová: “The stuffing ingredients differ by region, as do the names for Easter stuffing; in some regions it is called sekanice or hlavička.”
While the ingredients may vary (some home chefs add herbs, substitute spinach for nettles, or even make unusual additions such as liver) Czech tradition dictates that fresh, foraged greens, bread, and eggs, all symbols of spring rebirth, must be included.
Ms. Rýznerová adds that the event is not limited to just Czech stuffing recipes and invites expats to bring their best efforts to be judged by a committe of Slow Food members, Prague 4 officials, and the general public.
Aside from activities for families, the day will provide a chance to sample some lesser-known Czech Easter dishes. “We will also serve an old Bohemian dish, pučálka, which is prepared from green pea sprouts,” says Ms. Rýznerová.
The competition begins at 10am and lasts until 2pm.
See the winning recipe from 2015 here.