Salade Macédoine


I was invited to go to Macedonia recently, but I realized that I had only the vaguest idea of where Macedonia is actually located on a map. I suspected that it was one of the many little countries that spun off from the former Yugoslavia, and I did recall some distant association with Alexander the Great. But the only immediate association I could make to Macedonia was…salad.

In Italian, a macedonia is a fruit salad, and in French, a salade macédoine is a vegetable salad. In fact, in France, it’s a classic institutional appetizer, served in the finest school cafeterias and consisting of cooked peas, carrots, green beans and turnips in a heavy mayonnaise dressing that looks like white sludge and, as I recall from my elementary school days in France, tastes just as good (here's a commercial version, minus the sludge).

So where the hell is Macedonia? And how it is that chopped carrots and peas and pears and peaches can all somehow claim to be Macedonian? It turns out Macedonia is actually wedged way down in Southeastern Europe between Serbia, Albania and Greece, that the national diet tends massively toward barbecued meat, and that there wasn’t a single Macedonian salad on any of the menus in the many restaurants I sampled there.

What I did find in Macedonia, however, is an unbelievable hodge-podge of ethnicities. The country that calls itself Macedonia today is actually populated by one quarter ethnic Albanians, two-thirds ethnic Macedonians, equal sprinklings of Serbs, Bulgarians and Roma, and a substantial serving of Turks. Add to that a seasoning of intense religious diversity—one-third Muslims, two-thirds Macedonian Orthodox, and a potent dash of Albanian Catholics—and suddenly you begin to understand why the term macédoine in diplomatic history is synonymous with “complicated mixture.” If, over its many centuries of ethnic conflict, Macedonia has come be known as the “tinderbox of the Balkans,” it’s because no amount of mayonnaise dressing could ever make the ethnic peas identify with the ethnic carrots, or make the green beans speak the turnips’ language.

So a Macedonian salad, in the end, is just a mixed salad. A salad with a diversity of similar ingredients—fruits, veggies, warring ethnicities, whatever. And it also turns out that the sludgy mayonnaise dressing part of the salade macédoine is just some French lunch-lady’s idea that everything tastes better with mayonnaise.

Below, a recipe for a seasonal macédoine of spring vegetables. Hold the mayo.

Macédoine de Légumes

1 bunch of fresh tarragon (optional)
1 tsp. of sugar
½ cup of pancetta, chopped in small cubes
3 Tbsp. clarified butter
1 cup of fresh shelled peas [Note: you can also use frozen peas, but don’t defrost them before]
1 cup of snow peas
6 mini-carrots with their green tops
6 scallion branches
6 small turnips
Salt and pepper


Wash and peel the turnips and the carrots, leaving the tips of their green tops.

Shell the fresh peas and trim the tips from the snow peas.

Wash the scallions and cut them in half.

Wash and pat dry the bunch of tarragon, and remove the leaves from the branches.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt, and cook all of the vegetables separately, except the scallions. About 15 minutes for the carrots and turnips, 10 minutes for the fresh peas, and 5 minutes for the snow peas. Rinse each of the vegetables under cold water to prevent them from continuing to cook—it’s important that they remain al dente, a little firm and crunchy—and drain them. Set them aside.

In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of the clarified butter, add the scallions, sprinkle them with the sugar, and cook them over low heat until they are lightly colored.

Meanwhile, plunge the pancetta cubes in boiling water for 3 minutes, and remove them with a slotted spoon. Set aside.

In another frying pan, heat the rest of the butter, add the pancetta, the onions, and all the vegetables. Heat the mixture over very low heat, about 5 or 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle with the fresh tarragon.

Serve immediately, while warm.



Funny, I actually made the classic French version held together with "white sludge" in school the other day and was totally unappetized by it. You're version sounds so much better.


Thanks for sharing the informative geography lesson and recipe. Sounds simple and delicious! Always good to have new ideas for using turnips.


I'm glad you like! Another appeal about this chopping.


It's funny how a dish that has a nation's name appended to it is not actually descriptive of its origin. Think French Fries. While the Macedonian salad has no roots in Macedonia, you might say that it's descriptive of its hodge-podge arrangement or ingredients. Though it's not quite appetizing to relate this salad's mixture to the ethnic diversity of the country, still the salad Macedoine is a welcome chaos for me.


I am Macedonian, and what you describe as the Macedonian salad it will not be my first choice for a lunch...And yes, we like meat when we can afford it.;-((
In Macedonia usually we prepair salads from the fresh wegetables and for dressing we use only oil (olive or sunflower) and lemon and/or vinegar.
Here some traditional Macedonian Salad:
200 g. of fresh tomatoes.
200 g. of fresh cucumbers.
5 teaspuns of oil, 1 vinegar, salt, black peper, 100 g. white (sheep milk) cheese.
Chop and mix everuthing and enjoy...


Interstingly, in Greece (which argues that IT is entitled to the name Macedonia, and fought the adoption of the name by the former Yugoslovian republic) the traditional carrot/pea/beet/mayo salad is called "Russian Salad" (Salata Rossiki). It also often includes shrimp. Made with homemade mayonnaise (used lightly), and fresh vegetables (paticularly if you roast the beets instead of boiling them), it can be quite lovely.




Being greek, I just want to express my objections regarding the usage of the name "Macedonia", about wich there has been a dispute between Greece and the FyroM..
Macedonia is a region at south Balkans. Through ancient times, it was inhabited by greek-speaking population, and became famous when the macedonian king Alexander conquered a large part of Asia spreading the HELLENIC(=greek) culture, and settling several (greek-named, having greek monuments) colonies..
This geographic region called Macedonia, was after 6th AD inhabited by Slavs, who gradually became a majority... So this REGION was inhabited mainly by Slavs, ALSO having greek population on it.. This Slav population was considered bulgarian until the 20th century AD, speaking a bulgarian dialect. After the Balkan wars in 1912 Greece RE-conquered the Aegean part of Macedonia, despite the large bulgarian-considered population of it.
After the 2nd World War the idea of a distinct "macedonian" nation was promoted by communist Yugoslavija, who wanted to de-bulgarize the population of the region called Macedonia (the "Vardar" part of it, where today's republic is placed). That resulted in the creation of "Social Republic of Macedonia" wich was part of Yugoslavia. This republic became independent on early 90's, but Greece was opposed to the usage of its constitutional name, because the (so-called) "Macedonians" (who are absolutely irrelevant - you can find it out by openning ANY encyclopedia- to Anient HELLENIC Macedonia) want to monopolise the name "Macedonia" and (what the important matter is) its history, wich at ancient times was DEFINITELY hellenic.

To conclude, i would just like to inform the readers of this article, to be more careful using the name "macedonian" when referring to the socalled republic. It is a sensitive matter of history theft by FyrMacedonia.

Also remind that this country is (due to the greek opposition) oficially recognised as FormerYugoslavRepublicOfMacedonia, by the UN,EU, and NATO.


To ana the Greek: Get a life and try to get some food, be it Macedonian salad too! This is home page dedicated to food and not to Greek paranoia.


Ana is right. People often confuse Slavic Macedonia with Hellenic (Greek) Macedonia...


Macedonian salad does not refer to the ethnic complexity of what is now The Republic of Macedonia but to the ethnic complexity of the wider Macedonian area during the Ottoman rule. The area was (and is) inhabited by Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs, Roma, Vlachs, Turks and others...


Don`t be so fast to belive everything that you read ! Everyone has a different take on every dish out there ! My father was Louis A Fessy. A true honest to god and properly trained french chef. He has / had more than enough references to qualify him as a man of knowledge in the food industry. In several countries as well as the U.S.A. His Macedoine was served cold consisting mainly of small potatoe cubes, peas and carrots. Garnished with boiled egg halfs around the dish and a special white variation of his salad dressing topping the mixture. Parsley used as a garnish only. It always "stole the show" at EVERY American backyard cookout ! Children and adults alike would flock back to the dish after their first nibble ! My version comes fairly close but just doesn`t have that extra something only he could create. I came to this site trying to find it ! Dad worked at the Ford pavillion in the N.Y. Worlds fair in the early 60`s when first off the boat from france. Made meals for several U.S. presidents, Appeared On T.V. several times , Developed many of the Campbell`s soup company lines and ended has career as a teacher for the C.I.A in Hyde Park N.Y. I miss him dearly as do many of his students .


The name of this salad refers to the classic vegetable cut - macedoine.


you guys try the origenal Macedonians diced potato pees boleded diced carrots crispyer dieced pickled cucumbers chese(kaskaval)home mad maoinas miked with touch of salt touch vinger touch sunflower oil with dressed up olives and pasley on top now you gess who the original Macedonias are or the conkerers that claim Macedonia and cal it Greeck Maceidonia or Bulgarian or Serbian or what ever MACEDONIA .MACEDONIA WAS IS AND WILL BE YOU LIKE IT OR NOT THE SALAD WILL ALL WAYS TASTE THE SAME TO A REAL MACIDONIA THER IS NO COPY




In Macedonia this salad has different variations and we don`t use the name macedonian salad, that is why in macedonian restorant you can not find this salad bihind this name


Yes, try the "real" macedonian salad, usualy goes by "shopska salad" .... tastyyy :)


Wow, lots of Greek paranoia! It's almost like 1986 all over again...

As for Greece claiming rights to the name “Macedonia”, here are some facts:

In 1913 after Macedonia was partitioned, Greece named its northen province to “New Territories”. Later it renamed it “Northern Greece”. Then in the late 1980’s when it was inevitable that a new Macedonian state was about to declare its independence from Yugoslavia, Greece renamed it “Macedonia”.

Therefore Greece has neither historical nor geographical rights to the name “Macedonia”.


shut the hell up all of you...... no one cares. we just wanted to know what it was. damn people!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thank you so very much for taking the time to share…very useful, indeed!


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