Thursday, August 18, 2011

Shopska Salad

When I was in Bulgaria we had this salad every day.  Now that it is harvest time and cucumbers and tomatoes are in abundance, it's a good time to revisit it.
I mean, just look at the tomato I got at the farmers market yesterday.  Look how deep the color and how meaty it was! And the flavor was unbelievable.  It makes me never want to eat another hot house tomato again.
Back to the salad....
The recipe is super simple.  The most important ingredients are the fresh cucumbers and tomatoes and the cheese.  The true Shopska salad has sirene cheese, but the closest you can usually find in the States is feta.   I have made it without onion, when I don't have it around, and I don't usually add the parsley.
The salad usually came at the beginning of the meal in Bulgaria, but in the summertime sometimes I will eat a whole bowl of just this salad for lunch.  It is delightfully cool and refreshing.  I should also note that in Bulgaria the oil & vinegar are usually sitting on the table in the restaurant (along with the salt & pepper) for the guests to add according to their tastes, but I usually toss it all together.  I've also substituted different vinegars for different flavors, although I'm pretty sure we just had the red wine vinegar all the time in Bulgaria.

Shopska Salad

2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 large cucumber, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. chopped green onion
1-2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsely (optional)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (to taste)
salt (to taste)
4 oz. feta cheese crumbles.

1. Toss all vegetables together with oil & vinegar and salt.  Top with cheese.

source:  Cantoria Bulgarian tour 1997

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