Doesn´t this salad look intoxicating?? It´s popular all around southeastern Europe, taking different names wherever it´s eaten. In Bulgaria, it´s called Shopska - and it´s apparently quite popular in the summer! I first learned about it at a Bulgarian restaurant up in way-North-London - I think it was a restaurant called the Cock and Lion or something like this... Fresh food, dancing, huge wooden picnic-style tables, dim lighting, a boarded-up window or two (if I remember correctly) - it was quite the experience! While there, I had crema, the Bulgarian version of flan (or Brazilian "pudim") , as well as a huge shopska salad with tons of veg and cheese - rich Bulgarian feta. So heavenly, I don´t know how the Greek feta maintains its monopoly on the feta world. The Bulgarian feta tasted a little lighter and a little saltier than Greek feta, and I really loved its fresh texture! With big ancient red peppers, tomatoes, and chunks of cucumber, it´s stolen my heart away from Caesar Salad. My current favourite salad is, of course, the Maria Julia, but I can´t stay away from Shopska for too long - it is just so refreshing! I promise to get a better bunch of photos up shortly - a bit too much flash in this one!
No dressing required! The taste of this easy and phenomenally healthy salad becomes richer if the salad has a few minutes to meet-and-greet it´s seasonings. Plus, you´re getting a super dose of raw olive oil!
Oh oh! A fun note! My Bulgarian sources tell me this salad represents the Bulgarian flag - its red, white, and green! Love it!
Tell me how you like it, and if you have your own versions of Shopska, please do let me know how you do it differently!
Visit www.waterandchocolate.com for more gringa recipes!
Lots of love,
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