Bulgarian’s in rural areas grow vegetables that are exceptionally tasty, which is why salad dishes occupy a central place in Bulgarian culinary tradition.
A small glass or two of rakia the Bulgarians ‘national drink’is taken with most salads, a perfect combination.
The Bulgarian Shopska Salad
The internationally renowned and most popular salad in the Balkans is the Shopska Salad.
It originated in the 1960’s from the region of Shopluk near to the borders of Serbia and Macedonia. Leading chefs at the time invented the dish along with several other regional dishes to promote tourism during the days of socialism and the ‘Iron curtain’
Years later the dish became a national culinary symbol for Bulgaria and the salad became very popular, first in neighbouring countries such as Romania and Serbia and later spread throughout the world.
The colours of the Shopska salad: Green cucumbers, Red peppers and tomatoes and white feta cheese are also representative of Bulgaria’s national flag.
During 2014 the ‘Bulgarian Shopska salad was awarded the ‘Most recognizable dish in Europe’.
It is without doubt a most healthy and quick and simple dish to make. It can be taken as a starter before the main meal or as a meal on its own.
Try it with mashed potatoes or chips! hearth baked pitta bread can also be an accompaniment to this fresh and healthy meal.
Ingredients serves 4
- 5 or 6 tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 1 red bell pepper (roasted or not)
- 2 tablespoons chopped Fresh Parsley
- 250 gms (1/2 lb) feta cheese
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small white onions
- 4 or 8 black olives ( optional )
- Chop red pepper
- Dice pieces of tomatoes and cucumber.
- Mix all ingredients except cheese in a bowl
- Sprinkle chopped or crumble feta cheese on top before serving.