Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bulgarian Shopska Salad

I mention Shopska Salad in my bio and several of you have e mailed me asking for the recipe. It is very similar to Greek Salad and many others of that region. It was all settled by the Thracian's and vegetarian food predominated in that world. The Bulgarians continue this tradition with meals beginning with vegetables and salads. There may be several courses of just vegetable dishes followed by a tiny bit of grilled meat or sausage. Bulgaria has some of the most beautiful farmland and produce seen anywhere in the world so eating vegetables is always a delight.
4 medium ripe tomatoes (never refrigerate tomatoes, it ruins the flavor and texture, they will ripen in a basket on the counter)
1 medium cucumber
1 sweet pepper
1 medium red onion
1/4 pound Bulgarian feta cheese
Olive oil
Lemon or Lime juice
I prefer the finely chopped version so I cut all the veggies into small pieces and stir together with the crumbled cheese. I add a touch of oil at a time and the juice of a lemon. It can be eaten right away or stored in the frig for up to several days. You can add parsley, black olives, even chopped watermelon and it is still a good thing.
Speaking of Bulgaria, they produce some very interesting wines. Not many are currently imported but if you in Eastern Europe skip Sofia and head to Plovdiv or Melnick and really get a chance to enjoy the Bulgarian cuisine and wine.

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