In Crete, Dakos is called a salad, but it sounds more like an appetizer or meze to me. It tastes and feels like Catalan bread with tomatoes (there will be a link when I get to this recipe). The salad is very summery, but I generally associate all Greek food with summer, should it be? The same tzatziki, for example. In Crete, dakos is served in almost every establishment, and eaten usually at lunchtime.
So what is Dakos? It’s toasted bread or soaked barley crumbs liberally drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sweet, ripe, summer tomatoes, feta, chopped olives, and oregano.
This salad is all about tomatoes, they won’t be ripe, they won’t be sweet, they won’t taste good – all for nothing. That’s why it’s summery. In Crete, dakos are made with barley breadcrumbs that are soaked in water. Outside of Greece, it’s somewhat problematic to find them, and you don’t have to. But promise to take the tastiest bread you can find, the tastiest tomatoes, and the tastiest olive oil, extra-virgin is a must.
It’s so simple and delicious that I’m eating this salad for the third or fourth day in a row. As long as I have enough tomatoes and feta, I don’t plan to change the menu.
In short, it’s a “must try” salad. Genius simplicity. And once you’ve tried it, be sure to share your experience in the comments.
Per 1 serving (1-2 people):
- 1 tomato;
- 30-50 g (1.1-2 oz) feta cheese;
- 1 large slice of white bread (1.5-2 cm. thick, the most delicious, with a lush, not dense, crumb)
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil;
- 4-6 olives (preferably with a bone, in assorted colors)
- A pinch of dried oregano;
- 1/2 shallot (can be replaced with any sweet onion)
- Salt, ground black pepper.
Step by step directions
Brush the bread with olive oil on both sides, fry in a dry pan until crispy on both sides.
Cut the tomato in half. Dice half of it into medium sized cubes and grate the other half on a coarse grater. Discard the skin.
Cut 1/2 of the shallot into very thin rings. Separate the rings with your hands to separate them from each other.
Cut the olives from the bone.
Assemble the salad.
Place a two-sided, toasted, thick slice of bread on a plate. Generously pour olive oil on it. On top of it place the sliced and grated tomatoes. Salt the tomatoes with a pinch of salt.
Crumble 30-50 grams (1.1-2 oz) of feta cheese on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with a pinch of oregano and season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Next, drizzle with olive oil again, add olives and thinly sliced shallots.
Serve it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as a salad, an appetizer, whatever you want. It’s too delicious to be distracted by the details.
Cretan Dakos Salad
- 1 tomato (summery, sweet, juicy, most delicious)
- 30-50 g feta cheese
- 1 large slice of white bread (1.5-2 cm thick, the most delicious, with a puffy, not dense, crumb)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil extra virgin
- 4-6 olives (preferably with a bone, an assortment of different colors)
- pinch oregano (dry)
- 1/2 shallot (can be replaced by any sweet onion)
- salt, freshly ground black pepper
- Brush the bread with olive oil on both sides, fry in a dry pan until crispy on both sides.
- Cut the tomato in half. Dice half of it into medium sized cubes and grate the other half on a coarse grater. Discard the skin.
- Cut half of the shallots into very thin rings. Separate the rings with your hands to separate them from each other. Cut the olives off the bone.
- Assemble the salad. Place a two-sided, toasted, thick slice of bread on a plate. Generously pour olive oil on it. On top, put chopped and grated tomatoes, salt with a pinch of salt, crumble feta, sprinkle with a pinch of oregano. Drizzle the salad with olive oil again, add the olives and thinly sliced shallot.Taste.