Shopska salad (the name deriving from the Shoppi/natives of Sofia) is a very popular and well received salad all throughout Europe.
It is a traditional and distinctive Bulgarian salad, said to have been made famous or invented in the 1960´s by Balkantourist, a Bulgarian tourist organization. Shopska salad is made from cucumber, tomato, roasted pepper (occasionally raw), sirene (a Bulgarian cheese, similar to feta or white brine cheese) and flavoured with parsley. The salad can be found on all Bulgarian restaurant menus, and usually accompanies a main dish.
The salad is an easy one to be prepared all year round, but is best in the summertime when the ingredients can be freshly picked and used.
The salad is often eaten as an appetizer, and served with Rakija, which is a popular Bulgarian alcoholic fruit drink.
The vegetables in a shopska salad are cut up into chunks, salted and then dressed lightly with either olive or sunflower oil, sometimes matched with vinegar. The salad is topped with either grated or diced Sirene (Bulgarian cheese like feta) to finish. In restaurants you will find that frequently the two dressings (oil and vinegar) are provided in separate containers, as many people find that the combination of the acidity of the tomatoes and the addition of vinegar make the salad too sour.
Shopska Salad Recipe:
1 onion, or 4 Spring Onions
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1/3 bunch of parsley, freshly chopped
2 tablespoons (olive) oil
3 tablespoons of vinegar/red wine vinegar
1 cup (1/2 lb) Bulgarian cheese (or feta cheese)
Chop all of the tomatoes into decent sized chunks
Chop up the cucumbers and the pepper into dices
Add all of the chopped vegetables into a large bowl
Finely chop the onion and parsley and add this into the bowl
Add a pinch of salt and pepper
Shower the salad with the oil and vinegar and mix it all together
Grate the cheese onto the top of the salad mixture