A Guide To the Most Delicious Romanian Salads – With Recipes

A close-up of the Beouf Salad on a round platter. It is decorated with slices of pickles, pickled red pepper and olives

In this article, I want to talk to you about the most delicious Romanian salads. In Romania, the term “salad” refers not just to a bowl of greens, but to other dishes that may be either spreads or dips.

During the warm summer months, light and refreshing salads are popular, often made with seasonal vegetables and fresh herbs. These salads are perfect for cooling down on hot days and are often enjoyed as a side dish or a light meal on their own. 

As the weather turns colder, we turn to heartier, more substantial salads that serve as comforting meals in themselves. These winter salads are often rich and filling, with ingredients like potatoes, beans, pickles, and different meats.

Depending in which part of Romanian you are, the salad recipes will differ.

The Most Delicious Romanian Salads 

Salata de Boeuf – Beef Salad 

The Boeuf Salad on a creamy coloured plate with a black rim. It sits on a marble background, as well as on a grey tea towel with a round motif. The salad is decorated with four slices of pickles, eight slices of pickled red pepper and four sliced olives.

The Romanian Boeuf Salad is one of the most popular salads in the country. This beloved salad, a staple of Romanian cuisine, doesn’t miss from any festive gathering.

Much like its European counterparts, the Romanian Boeuf Salad is a variation of the Russian Olivier salad. However, it has evolved into a distinctly Romanian dish with its own unique flair.

The salad features boiled potatoes, carrots, and beef, perfectly complemented by the addition of peas, pickles, and sometimes boiled eggs. What ties all these ingredients together is a generous coating of creamy mayonnaise dressing. Often presented on a platter in a round or oval shape, the salad is decorated with slices of olives and pickled red peppers. 

The funny thing about this salad is that most of the time the main meat in it is actually chicken rather than beef. 

You can find my Boeuf salad recipe here. 

Salata de Vinete – Roast Aubergine Salad 

Three slices of bread topped with the aubergine salad and a slice of cherry tomato on top, sitting on a lettuce leaf, on a chopping board.

The roast aubergine salad stands out as one of the most beloved salads in Romanian cuisine. Though it’s called a salad, it’s more akin to a delicious spread rather than a classic “salad”.

To prepare this dish, aubergines are first grilled over an open fire, which gives them a slight smokey flavour. Once grilled, the aubergines are peeled and left to drain, to remove all the bitter liquid inside. The flesh of the aubergine is then finely chopped and combined with thinly sliced onions and mayonnaise.

For the best flavour, the aubergines are grilled on a barbecue rather than roasted in the oven. I often roast aubergines when I make a barbecue, even if I don’t plan on making this salad yet, because they freeze very well. So when I crave the roasted aubergine salad, all I have to do is defrost the roasted aubergines and chop them with garlic and mayo. 

This Romanian salad is typically enjoyed spread on slices of crusty bread, sometimes topped with fresh tomatoes. 

You can find my roast aubergine salad recipe here. 

Salata de Icre – Cod Roe Salad

A red bowl with the white cod roe salad in it, topped with parsley and a slice of lemon.

The cod roe salad is a timeless classic in Romanian cuisine and happens to be one of my personal favourites. Similar to the roast aubergine salad, this dish is more of a spread than a traditional salad. 

Prepared using readily available cod roe, which can be found in the fish section of any supermarket, this salad is so easy to make. The cod roe is mixed with oil, lemon juice, and a surprising ingredient — mineral water. The addition of fizzy water lends a light and fluffy texture to the salad. 

There are several variations of this salad, but my absolute favourite includes the addition of onions. 

To enjoy this Romanian cod row salad, simply spread it generously on a slice of fresh bread and savour each bite. 

You can find my cod roe salad recipe here. 

Salata de Fasole Batuta – White Bean Dip

A white dip topped with red caramelised onions, inside a yellow bowl, on a wooden board. Around, there is a yellow tea towel

While I am not very keen on the white bean salad, it remains one of the most beloved salads in Romania. Despite its name, this dish is actually more of a dip than a traditional salad.

To prepare this flavourful dip, soft-boiled white beans are blended together with garlic and a bit of water to achieve its creamy consistency.

The white bean salad is often served topped with caramelized onions and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. 

You can find my white bean dip recipe here. 

Salata de Rosii – Tomato Salad 

A rectangular white plate with little green patterns that look like bird footsteps, with the tomato salad on it.

There’s nothing quite like a Romanian tomato salad to brighten up a hot summer day. This is such a simple salad that packs so much flavour in it. And it is best made with tomatoes that you grow yourself, in the garden. 

In Romania, each neighbourhood in Bucharest or city in the country has its own traditional farmer’s market, where small producers and farmers come to sell their fresh produce. The Romanian tomatoes are big and juicy, tasting like real tomatoes – a far cry from the bland, supermarket varieties. 

Making a Romanian tomato salad couldn’t be easier. Simply chop up a couple of juicy tomatoes, add some finely sliced onion, a drizzle of olive oil, and a splash of vinegar. Mix it all together, and voila! You’ve got yourself the most delicious tomato salad you’ve ever tasted.

One of the best parts of enjoying this salad is using a slice of bread to mop up the leftover juices at the bottom of the bowl.

Click here to see my Romanian tomato salad recipe.

Salata de Castraveti – Cucumber Salad 

A grey plate with the cucumber salad on it. The slices of cucumbers are arranged in a circle, one slice over each other, on two rows.

Another beloved Romanian summer salad is the refreshing cucumber salad. Made with simple yet delicious ingredients, this salad is perfect for hot summer days.

To make this salad, fresh cucumbers are thinly sliced and mixed with garlic and dill. The dressing is equally simple, consisting of just oil and cider vinegar, which gives the salad a tangy kick.

One of the best things about this salad is its high water content, making it incredibly refreshing and hydrating. 

Click here to read my Romanian cucumber salad recipe.

Salata de Primavara – Spring Salad 

A bowl of green salad with cherry tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, radishes, on a wooden board.

I always loved the spring salad, which in our house would usually be prepared around Easter time. It’s a very simple salad that celebrates the first spring vegetables, leading the way to summer. It is made with lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, and spring onions. It is dressed with a simple mix of oil and vinegar and then left in the fridge for all the flavours to mix. We would usually have it for Sunday lunch and I would always dip bread into the leftover sauce, at the end of the meal. 

 You can find my Romanian spring salad recipe here. 

Salata Orientala – Potato Salad 

A grey ramekin with two handles, the potato salad in it. You can see wedges of eggs, black olives, bite size potato cubes, sliced red onions, and chopped parsley on top. There is a grey tea towel around the bowl.

 We can’t talk about Romanian salads and forget the classic “Salata Orientala”. This hearty dish is more than just a side; it’s a full meal in itself. It consists of potatoes, boiled eggs, red onions pickles and black olives, all brought together with a tangy olive oil and vinegar dressing. 

I have fond memories of my mother making Romanian potato salad for lunch on lazy weekends. I could never resist the temptation to sneak into the kitchen while it was cooling in the fridge, stealing a few bites before it was ready to serve.

You can find my Romanian potato salad recipe here. 

Salata de Varza Acra – Pickled Cabbage Salad 

Chopped pickled cabbage with red paprika sprinkled on top, on a white plate

In winter, our meals are often accompanied by the pickled cabbage salad. Many Romanians, especially those living in the countryside or with access to basements, pickle cabbage to enjoy throughout the winter season. Typically, this process requires large barrels, therefore you need space for them.

To make this Romanian salad, all you need to do is chop the pickled cabbage and mix it with caraway seeds, salt, pepper, a drizzle of oil, and optionally, some paprika for a pop of colour. 

Salata de Varza Dulce – Cabbage Salad 

The summer counterpart to the Romanian pickled cabbage salad is the simple and refreshing cabbage salad. Often referred to as “sweet cabbage salad,” this dish gets its name because the vegetables used are fresh, not pickled. While white cabbage is commonly used, you can also use the red variety. 

Making this salad is incredibly easy. All you need to do is shred the cabbage and mix it with chopped dill and a sprinkle of salt. The dressing is a light and tangy vinaigrette made with oil, vinegar, salt, sugar, and cold water.

Salata de Muraturi – Pickles Salad 

A close-up of a white bowl filled with chopped pickled cabbage, a red pickled pepper and slices of pickled cucumber

The Romanian pickles salad is a comforting winter side dish, perfectly complementing the hearty meat and potato dishes that warm us up on cold, chilly days.

Simple to make, this salad is a wonderful way to utilize the pickled vegetables you’ve prepared for the winter, stored in your pantry. Typically, it includes a mix of tangy pickled vegetables such as pickles, pickled red peppers, and pickled cauliflower.

Assemble the salad by combining your pickled vegetables in a bowl, and you’re ready to serve. Its tangy, crunchy goodness pairs beautifully with heavier winter dishes.

Salata de Ardei Kapia – Roasted Red Pepper Salad 

Two roasted red peppers inside a black bowl

The roasted red pepper salad is another classic, often found gracing the tables at Romanian barbecues.

To prepare this typical Romanian salad, red peppers are roasted over an open flame until charred, taking advantage of the barbecue’s heat. Once sufficiently charred, the peppers are placed inside a covered bowl, allowing the steam to loosen the burnt skin, making it easy to remove.

Once peeled, the roasted peppers are dressed with a simple yet delicious combination of vinegar and garlic. Left to marinate while the rest of the barbecue is prepared, the peppers absorb the flavours, that perfectly complement grilled meats. 

You can find my Romanian roasted red pepper salad recipe here. 

Salata de Ciuperci cu Maioneza – Mushroom Salad  

A black bowl with the mushroom salad in it. Around the bowl there is a yellow tea towel.

The Mushroom salad holds a special place on the Christmas and Easter dinner tables in Romania, and it’s one of my personal favourites. In fact, I could easily devour the entire bowl in one sitting!

This Romanian salad is incredibly easy to make and requires ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry: canned mushrooms, pickles, garlic, mayo, and chopped fresh dill. 

To prepare this salad, simply mix the canned mushrooms and chopped pickles with minced garlic, mayo, and a generous amount of fresh dill. The result is a delicious salad that’s perfect as a side dish or an appetizer for a festive occasion.

Salata de Ton cu Porumb – Tuna and Sweetcorn Salad 

A small blue bowl with handles, filled with the salad. You can see pieces of tuna, sweetcorn, and chopped parsley on the top. It sits on a yellow table.

Although not a traditional Romanian dish, the tuna and sweetcorn salad has gained popularity throughout the country in recent years.

This simple yet delicious salad is made by combining tuna with finely chopped onion, sweetcorn, parsley, and mayo. The result is a creamy and flavourful salad that can be enjoyed on its own or spread on a slice of bread.

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