Bulgarian tomato salad (with a twist)

No nation loves tomatoes as much as Bulgarians do. And for the record, the Bulgarian tomatoes are the best, and so is the Bulgarian feta cheese and the Bulgarian yoghurt! The national dish is shopska salad (шопска салата) which is chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese.  My version is somewhat of a departure from the Bulgarian classic especially in the dressing.

serves: 4        difficulty: easy      prep time: 15 min



for the salad

  • 1 lbs heirloom tomatoes. I only make this salad when good heirloom tomatoes are in season.
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 3 scallions
  • 14-16 pitted Kalamata olives
  • 10-15 basil leaves
  • 1/2 lbs Bulgarian feta cheese. Obviously no other would do!


for the dressing

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbs capers
  • 1 anchovy filet
  • 1 tbs good red wine vinegar such as sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil



First make the dressing. Place all the dressing ingredients in a food processor, and puree. The pictures are from making a double dose – because it keeps well in the fridge for up to a week, and I eat this salad in the summer all the time.

To make the salad, chop the large tomatoes in 1/2 inch cubes. If you are using smaller tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, slice them in half or quarter.

Slice each scallion lengthwise, and then chop the scallions.

Chop the olives and cucumbers.

You can keep all the chopped salad ingredients or refrigerate them until ready to serve.

Right before you serve, chop the basil, add 1/4 tbs salt, the dressing and mix everything.

Plate and top with the crumbled Bulgarian feta.