Tag Archives: bulgarian recipe

Before Meat There Were Vegetables

With summer here, why not take advantage of the plentitude of vegetables in season and eat something light and healthy. One of my favourite recipes is a mixture of vegetable called like that: mixed vegetable casserole. It is a Bulgarian recipe from ‘The Practical Encyclopedia of East European Cooking’, 1999. It is very tasty and quite easy to make plus it won’t keep you in the kitchen for long, mostly for preparing. After that you just ‘forget’ it for about an hour and everything is done. Read hear how it’s made and enjoy.

Mixed Vegetable Casserole

Serves 5


  • 1 aubergine
  • 115 g (4 oz, 1/2 cup) okra, halved lengthways
  • 225 g (8 oz, 2 cups) frozen or fresh peas
  • 225 g (8 oz, 1 1/2 cups) green beans, cut into 2,5 cm (1 in) pieces
  • 4 courgettes, cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) pieces
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 450 g (1 lb) old potatoes, diced into 2,5 cm (1 in) pieces
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 397 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint, 2/3 cup) vegetable stock
  • 60 ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
  • 75 ml (5 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) paprika
  • salt
  • 3 tomatoes and 1 courgette for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 375°F/ Gas 5. Dice th aubergine into 2,5 cm (1 in) pieces. Add the vegetables to a large ovenproof casserole.
  • Stir in the canned tomatoes, stock, olive oil, parsley, paprika and salt to taste. Stir well.
  • Level de surface of the vegetables and arrange alternate slices of tomatoes and courgette attractively on top.
  • Put the lid on or cover the casserole dish tightly. Cook for 60-70 minutes. Serve either hot or cold with wedges of crusty bread.

Bon appetite!

Some Like It Cold

Too much heat will kill you. It is true with this weather. I feel like I melt in the hot air. I can not breath, I sweat and I want to sleep. I don’t even want to eat too much. The problem is that I have too. What do I want to eat? Watermelon, everyday, all day long. Yogurt, plain and fat. Fruits in season. Sometimes a barbecue. And then again watermelon. And yogurt. Speaking about yogurt I remembered that some years ago, I discovered an easy and fresh recipe with yogurt, just perfect for a hot summer day. I found the recipe in the book “The Practical Encyclopedia of East European Cooking”, a book that provided and will give other recipes here.

I am talking now about a Bulgarian soup, also known by the name Tarator and I am sure that for days like these, when to be honest, I hate to stay in the kitchen and get hot by the oven, it is just one of the best ways to fill my stomach.

Cold Cucumber and Yogurt Soup/ Tarator

Serves 5-6


  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2,5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 75 g (3 oz, 3/4 cup) walnut pieces
  • 40 g (1 1/2 oz) day-old bread, torn into pieces
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) walnut or sunflower oil
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz, 1 2/3) cups cow’s or sheep’s yogurt (my favourite one is Total Greek yogurt, the classic one)
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz, 1/2) cup cold water or chilled still mineral water
  • 5-10 ml (1-2 tsp) lemon juice
  • 40 g (1 1/2 oz, 1/2 cup) walnuts, coarsely chopped, to garnish
  • 25 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) olive oil, to garnish
  • sprigs of fresh dill
  • Peel the cucumber. Dice the cucumber flesh and set aside.
  • Using a large mortar and pestle, crush the garlic and salt together well; add the walnuts and bread.
  • When the mixture is smooth, add the walnut or sunflower oil slowly and combine well.
  • Transfer the mixture into a large bowl and beat in the yogurt and diced cucumber.
  • Add the cold water or mineral water and lemon juice to taste.  If you prefer the soup smooth, purée it in a food processor or blender before serving.
  • Pour the soup into chilled soup bowls to serve. Garnish with the coarsely chopped walnuts, a little olive oil drizzled over the nuts and sprigs of fresh dill.
Bon appetite!