Winter Warmer: Spicy Bulgarian Tomato Casserole

This recipe is traditionally eaten during the hottest days of the year in Southern Bulgaria. However, I like to use plenty of paprika so it makes a great hearty, warming side dish for those cold winter days.  Serve with a sprinkling of parsley as garnish and a dollop of sour cream.

Ingredients

40ml olive oil

Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley

1kg of firm ripe tomatoes

1 tsp caster sugar

45g white breadcrumbs

1 tbsp paprika

Seasoning

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Grease a baking dish with 1 tbsp of oil

Sprinkle the dish with a generous helping of chopped parsley

Slice the tomatoes and arrange in the dish so they overlap

Thracian tomato bake

Sprinkle the tomatoes with seasoning and sugar

Mix breadcrumbs together with remaining oil and paprika

Sprinkle breadcrumb mix over top of tomatoes

Thracian tomato bake

Cover dish with foil

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking

Thracian tomato bake

Garnish with a sprinkling of parsley and serve with a dollop of sour cream

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Thracian Chariot Display in Sofia

bulgaria-chariotThis Wednesday an exhibition displaying a golden decoration chariot from Ancient Thrace opened in the Mall of Sofia. The Thracian chariot was discovered in 1976 near the village of Karanovo but there was little interest in the incredible find. That was until this year when archaeologist, Veselin Ignatov, head of the history museum in Nova Zagora, and a specialist on Thracian chariots, found it as he was inspecting the museum basement.

The decorative plaque is 52 cm long, 12 cm wide, and 0.3 cm thick. It was placed on the lower back part of the chariot, which was more likely a luxury passenger car rather than a war chariot. The image appears to be an ancient building, probably a temple. Other decorations include a busy of Hercules and two heads of Medusa. To date, over 200 chariots dated back to Thracian and Roman times have been found in Bulgaria by both archaeologists and treasure hunters. In comparison, only two chariots have been found in the rest of Roman Empire – one in Pompeii, and one in Ephesus; and about 20 chariots have so far been discovered in Hungary.

The chariot will be on display until 22nd September 2009.

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