Shopska Salad Recipe – Bulgarian Tomato And Cucumber Salad
Shopska Salad Recipe – Bulgarian Tomato And Cucumber Salad, light summer salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, feta cheese and a light olive oil and salt dressing.
What is Shopska salad? (Shopska Salata)
It is a Traditional Bulgarian salad made with tomatoes and cucumbers. It is a staple in Bulgarian cuisine. While it is perfect for summer, it us made year round.
This particular tomato cucumber salad (aka Shopska Salad) is very popular on the Balkans. There are different versions of it, made in different countries that are pretty similar at the same time.
Some differences you may encounter could be in the way vegetables are cut. Small vs bigger pieces. I personally like to cut them into medium sized pieces.
Also different types of cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers could be used. Yellow or purple onions?
Either one would work.
I know that tomato cucumber salad is popular in the US, but it does originate from Europe.
I love it because these is no lettuce in it, unlike most salads.
How to make Shopska salad?
The ingredients needed for Shopska salad are:
- green peppers
- feta cheese
- olive oil
- parsley (optional)
You cut the cucumbers in half and then into thin slices, cut the tomatoes into small bite sized pieces, slice the onions and peppers and place in a bowl.
Let it stand for a few minutes.
This lets the vegetables release some juice naturally. Add olive oil.
Now the combination of the vegetable juices and olive oil is your dressing.
Top with crumbled feta cheese and top with parsley.
Cucumbers are my favorite vegetable year round. They are the perfect low calorie snack!
I like to use seedless cucumbers. Any type of cucumber is fine. You can always use waxed cucumbers, but please make sure you remove the seeds. They are not pleasant to eat and also add a lot of liquid to the salad.
Persian cucumbers are perfect for this salad, even though the traditional one is not made with them.
The traditional Bulgarian Shopska Salad is made with large pink Bulgarian tomato, that tastes sweet and juicy. Unfortunately I have not been able to find the exact same kind of tomatoes here in the US.
While some Farmer’s Markets offer similar tomatoes, they are not the same.
You can use any tomatoes of your choice, including cherry and grape tomatoes.
Green bell peppers could be used and they are also a part of the original recipe. I often like to use Cubanelle peppers (not sold in every store), because they are thin and I love their crisp texture.
This Shopska salad is originally made with yellow onions. I like to use purple onions, but even green onions will work.
What cheese to use in Shopska salad?
Feta cheese, made from sheep’s or cow’s milk. Look for Bulgarian feta, it tastes amazing!
Can you make this Shopska Salad in advance and keep it in the fridge?
My personal preference is to make this salad right before serving. Tomatoes + cucumbers + sauce equals soggy vegetables within 30 minutes. So this salad needs to be eaten right away.
You can definitely prepare the vegetables in advance and keep them in an air tight container in the fridge, before you add the salt, oil and feta.
What does Shopska Salad go well with?
You can serve it with any kind of grilled meat, sandwiches, as a side salad, pizza, hot dogs or even grilled vegetables.
This Shopska Salad recipe goes well with rakia, a traditional Bulgarian fruit brandy.
Other recipes to serve this shops salad recipe:
Shopska Salad Recipe - Bulgarian Tomato And Cucumber Salad
- 1 English cucumber — sliced
- 3 cups tomatoes — sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1/4 red onion — medium
- 1 green pepper — chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
Combine vegetables in a bowl and sprinkle salt on top. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Add the oil. Top with feta and parsley. Serve.