Shopska salad is a traditional Bulgarian cold salad popular throughout the Balkans and Central Europe. It is made from tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, raw or roasted peppers (preferably roasted), sirene (white brine cheese), and parsley.
The vegetables are usually diced and salted, followed by a light dressing of sunflower oil or olive oil, which are occasionally complemented by vinegar. The addition of vinegar only contributes, however, to the sour flavour that the tomatoes impart. In restaurants, the dressings are provided separately. Lastly, the vegetables are covered in a thick layer of grated or diced sirene cheese. This salad is often consumed as an appetiser with rakija.
Shopska salad derives its name from the regional group called Shopi living mostly in parts of Bulgaria (but also in areas of Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia).
According to Bulgarian Radio, shopska salad was popularised (or perhaps invented) by Balkantourist, the Bulgarian state tourist organisation, in 1960.
- 4 ripe tomatoes
- 2 long cucumbers
- 1 onion
- 1 red or green capsicum
- ⅓ bunch parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 cup Bulgarian cheese (or feta cheese)
- Chop all tomatoes (we recommend leaving the pieces bigger), cucumbers and the pepper and put in a bowl.
- Add the finely chopped onions and parsley. Sprinkle with the oil and vinegar and mix it all together. Grate the feta on top.