Hungarian salad – the essential accompaniment

Salads are not served as an independent course in traditional Hungarian cuisine, but as an essential accompaniment to many hearty dishes, especially meat dishes. Salads emphasize the flavor of the main dish, aid the digestion, and add a touch of color to even the plainest table. A small plate of salad is therefore an important part of plain home cooking.

hungarian salad


Fejes saláta: Quartered lettuce with a dressing, sometimes includes hard-boiled eggs and slices of lemon.

Káposztasaláta: Finely grated white or red cabbage is salted for one hour, then pressed, and seasoned with chopped onion dressing and caraway.

Paprikasaláta: Bell pepper (capsicum) rings. Leave to absorb the dressing for one hour before serving. The rings are sometimes blanched in salted water first.

Paradicsomsaláta: Sliced tomatoes with a dressing, if desired seasoned with pepper, chopped fresh parsley, and oil, sometimes topped with onion rings.


Cucumber salad, preferably from thick cucumbers with a “warty” skin. The cucumber slices are salted for 30 minutes, then pressed. The dressing is poured over the cucumber slices, and garnished with pepper, paprika, or finely chopped parsley. A dollop of sour cream is placed on top of the paprika. Sometimes the cucumber is flavored with garlic or combined with finely chopped onion.

hungarian salad

Salad dressing (salátaöntet)

  • ¾ cup/200ml water
  • 3 ½ tbsp vinegar (6%)
  • 2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar, salt

Combine the ingredients thoroughly. Vary the proportions of the individual ingredients to suit your owntaste; themain thing is the dressing should taste slightly sour.