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Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity Onlus

Shopska Salad with Mavrovo Reka Belo Sirenje

A popular Balkan version of Greek salad, Shopska salad is elevated to a new level when paired with one of the most recently created Slow Food Presidia...

Mavrovo Reka Belo Sirenje cheese makes a delicious addition to Shopska salad, a dish of roasted peppers with tomatoes, cucumbers and onions and fresh cheese. The salad is one of the most popular dishes in Macedonia, and is found throughout the Balkans.


Similar to Greek feta, Belo Sirenje is one of the traditional dairy products made in the Mavrovo Reka National Park, the green heart of Macedonia, and is now protected by a Slow Food Presidium. At altitudes between 1,000 and 1,500 meters, raw milk from Sharplaninska sheep is turned in Belo Sirenje, Kashkaval (perhaps the ancestor of all stretched-curd cheeses) and Kiselo Mleko (acidic milk, similar to a thick yogurt).


The Presidium, the second in Macedonia after Wild Fig Slatko, was officially presented to the public and the press at Cheese 2011.


Shopska Salad

Serves 4


2 peppers

4 tomatoes, cubed

2 cucumbers, cubed

1 onion, diced


extra-virgin olive oil


1 sprig of parsley, minced

200 g Mavrovo Reka Belo Sirenje*


Preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes


Roast the peppers in the oven. Peel them, remove the seeds and cut them into thin strips. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers and onion. Dress with vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and salt. Sprinkle with parsley and crumble over the Mavrovo Reka Belo Sirenje.


*Can be replaced with Greek feta.


To find out more about the Mavrovo Reka Mountain Pasture Cheeses Presidium, click here.


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