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European-American Topics - Cuisine - Bulgarian and Romanian recipes

Recipes from the newest EU members

Compiled by M. Law

Published January 3, 2007

Romania and Bulgaria — two ex-communist nations from one of the poorest corners of Europe — joined the European Union, bringing the bloc's membership to 27 nations. 

In the light of this, we thought to gather some Bulgarian and Romanian recipes for you to try something new and to tantalize your taste buds. Enjoy! 



Banitsa is a traditional Bulgarian dish consumed at any meal. It is made of filo pastry layered with crumbled feta cheese and beaten eggs. The best banitsa, "rolled banitsa", is made with thin rolls of pastry arranged in a spiral shape inside a pan. It is sold in bakeries and usually eaten with yoghurt. 

What you need:

  • 2 packets of filo dough (Bulgarian "fini kori" or phyllo from the frozen desserts section)

  • 200 grams of yellow cheese (Bulgarian kashkaval or a mixture of cheddar and mozzarelle)

  • 500 grams of white cheese (Bulgarian sirene or feta cheese)

  • 7 eggs

  • 100 grams of butter

  • 1/2 cup of soda water

  • 1 cup yogurt

How to make it:

Mix six of the eggs, the grated butter, the crumbled white cheese, the yellow cheese cut in small pieces, and the yogurt. In a buttered pan, lay a layer of the phyllo dough, spread a layer of the mixture, and continue alternating layers so that the phyllo and the mixture are finished about the same time. Finish with a layer of phyllo dough. Then cut the banitsa into serving pieces. Mix the last egg with the soda water and stir. Pour the mixture over the banitsa and make sure there are no pieces of the phyllo dough left dry.
Bake in a preheated over at 200 C for 40 minutes, or till golden. 



Mititei is a Romanian specialty. These are sausage-shaped hamburgers of minced beef with garlic and pepper, sometimes mixed with lamb or pork. They are fried in a pan and served with mustard. Legend has it that they were invented one night at an inn in Bucharest. 

What you need: 

  • 12 oz ground lamb

  • 12 oz ground pork

  • 1 ea sm onion -- finely minced

  • 2 cloves garlic -- finely minced

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp hot or sweet paprika

  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram

  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds

  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp allspice

  • 1 pinch ground cloves

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

How to make it:

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together with your hands, squeezing and kneading to combine thoroughly.

Pinch off a small piece, fry it, and taste to adjust seasonings.

Form mixture into 8 sausage-shaped rolls about 1 inch in diameter and 3 1/2 to 4 inches long. Arrange on a lightly oiled platter or large plate, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Build a hot fire, oil the grate, and cook, turning with a spatula, until browned and cooked through -- 6 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately.


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