Bulgarian Tomato Salad (Shopska Salata)

Bulgarian Shopska Salad

Hedelyakim/Flickr CC 2.0 

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 6 portions (6 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
253 Calories
21g Fat
13g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 portions (6 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 253
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 252mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 4g
Calcium 110mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Shopska Salata is a salad that originated in the Shopluk region of Bulgaria. It is said to have been invented in the 1960s as part of a tourist promotion by the socialist party to highlight local ingredients.

Today, it is common among the Balkan countries of Serbia, Macedonia, and others and has been proclaimed as a national dish of Bulgaria.

There are slight variations from family to family, but the basic ingredients for this refreshing salad, served year-round, are the same―tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onion, red wine vinaigrette, and feta cheese which is known as sirene cheese in Bulgaria.

Since olive trees are not as plentiful ​in Bulgaria as they are elsewhere, sunflower oil is used in most cooking and salad dressings.

Ingredients

  • 4 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 large cucumber (unpeeled and chopped)
  • 4 green or red peppers (roasted or raw, chopped)
  • 1 large yellow onion (chopped, or 6 green onions, sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (t taste)
  • 1/2 cup Bulgarian sirene cheese (crumbled)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl, place tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onion and parsley, and toss.

  3. Place oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste in a screw-top jar. Cover and shake until well blended.

  4. Toss dressing with vegetables, turn into a serving bowl, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  5. Top with crumbled cheese and portion on chilled plates. Serve with hearty bread and a glass of rakia.

Recipe Variation

  • If you don't have access to this sirene cheese, feel free to substitute it for crumbled feta cheese.