Cretan Salad: Dakos

This Cretan salad is a favorite of mine. I enjoyed it while visiting Crete a few years ago but had difficulty recreating it because I could not find the thick, crunchy bread, called rusk, which is used for the base of the salad. After a tip from a client of mine, I found a Greek market that sells these large crouton-like rusks. Traditional Dakos is made with barley rusks but I purchased rusks made from rye flour, both are an excellent source of whole grains. Top each rusk with shredded or finely chopped tomato, feta cheese, Greek olives, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of oregano. I had made a fresh batch of chunky tomato sauce so I used it instead of chopped tomatoes.

This salad does not require a recipe because it’s a simple assembly of ingredients. If you can’t find barley or rye rusk, you can use thickly sliced, toasted barley or rye bread. Chop fresh tomatoes, draining off some of the liquid. Pass the rusk under running water (very quickly because you don’t want to soften them too much) and place them on a plate (traditional Dakos is not served on greens but I liked the color contrast of using arugula). Top with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, chopped tomato, crumbled feta cheese, a Kalamata olive (I didn’t have any olives in my pantry so they are missing from these photos) and a sprinkle of oregano.

For a more detailed description of Dakos and other authentic Greek recipes, check out Olive Tomato.

 

 

 

 

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