Since I’m in Crete just now I thought I’d share this simple and very traditional Cretan recipe with you. Dakos are a bit like the Italian bruschetta, but instead of being made with a toasted bread base these are made on barley rusks. You could use wholemeal bread rolls split in two and dried out low and slow in the oven first as a base.
Drying out bread in a very low oven is a great way of prolonging its edibility (is that even a word?, oh well it is now), you are basically making your own crispbreads. I did a post on making crispbreads ages ago. Of course you will get different flavours whatever bread you start off with.
If you have access to a Greek deli (or Amazon) then invest in some Dakos barley rusks, they’re delicious, great for dunking in soup and scooping up dips and flavoured oils.
Dakos are super healthy. The rusks being made simply with barley flour, salt and yeast, the topping of fresh tomatoes, olive oil, olives, capers, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper plus of course cheese. In Crete this would usually be the local Mizithra cheese or you can just as easily use feta which is available almost everywhere these days.
One taverna on the beach here serves it’s Dakos in larger scale rusks that are hollowed out into bowls and they pack in that topping to that you are eating the bowl as well as the salad, saves on the washing up!
This is a construction job rather than a recipe, I love it when things are totally simple and brilliantly delicious and these Dakos tick both boxes.
Dakos From Crete
- 2 Dakos barley rusks or dried out bread
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 2 tbsp mizithra or feta cheese
- 1 tsp capers
- 4 black olives
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
- black pepper
- Dampen the Dakos or dried bread with water
- Place Dakos on serving plate and drizzle with good olive oil
- Skin tomato by plunging into boiling water then cold and peeling off skin, core and remove seeds before chopping into small pieces
- Add the tomato to the Dakos base
- Sprinkle with mizithra/feta cheese, capers, olives and herbs
- Sprinkle with a little more olive oil and a good grinding of black pepper