Shopska Salad with Mediterranean Twist

Shopska salad

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 neighboring countries can claim it. 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, yogurt 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.

But why I decided to share with you this salad? It is because the salad is juicy, fresh and very easily to make. The ingredients are not expensive or fancy and you can find them easily and make this salad all year round. And most of the travelers who have been to Bulgaria love this salad for its freshness and simplicity!

Why my way? Because I replace the traditionally used sunflower oil with olive oil and omit the vinegar as I don’t like how it taste with tomatoes. Instead of parsley, I use another traditional for the Bulgarian cuisine spice – savory.

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 like this description of Bulgarian cheese here

3 black pitted olives

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon dry savory  


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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