Shopska Salad with Mediterranean Twist
The Most Loved Traditional Bulgarian Dish
I am a Bulgarian and like all Bulgarians, I love Shopska salad. It is the traditional and emblematic dish that no one other from our neighbouring countries can claim. The Balkan countries are a mixture of similar culture due to their common historical past. This can be said about the cuisine as well. Moussaka, yoghurt and other typical for the region dishes and products are often subject to discussion and several countries claim to be the place of their origin. However, Shopska Salad originated in the region around Sofia in Bulgaria and its name comes from the people living there – Shopi.
The reason why I decided to share with you this recipe is that because this salad is juicy, fresh and very easy to make. The ingredients are not expensive and easy to find all over the world. Most of the travellers who have been to Bulgaria love this salad for its freshness and simplicity!
Why offer you my way of making the salad? Because I replace the traditionally used sunflower oil with olive oil and omit the vinegar as I don’t like how it tastes with tomatoes. Instead of parsley, I use another traditional for the Bulgarian cuisine spice – savoury. And as a result, I believe my way of preparing Bulgarian Shopska Salad is healthier as well.
Shopska Salad Ingredients:
5 middle-sized tomatoes, chopped
2 middle-sized cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 middle-sized yellow onion, chopped into small pieces
2/3 cup of Bulgarian cheese (called Sirene) or other white Feta cheese, which should be salty and grainier
(I find these descriptions of Bulgarian cheese accurate)
3 black pitted olives
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dry savoury
Mix all the ingredients and place at the top the crushed cheese, garnish with the savory and decorate with the three olives. Before serving, stir well in order that all ingredients mix well and complement each other’s taste. Like that, the tomatoes will release their juice and it will be mixed with the cheese, the olive oil, and the spices so that the salad becomes juicy and refreshing, a taste that makes this salad so loved. Enjoy!
Do you have your own version of a traditional salad from your home country?
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