Cretan Dakos Salad Recipe

καλή όρεξη

This classic Cretan salad is a filling summer lunch or supper with fresh organic locally grown ingredients. Simple, tasty and great when the days are getting warmer and you really don’t want to cook.

We first discovered this salad on a romantic weekend away to the island of Crete. It was on the menu everywhere we went from Heraklion to Chania, Rethymno and everywhere in between. Made simply with dakos bread, olive oil, tomatoes, and the local mitzithra cheese. Sometimes there were a couple of olives or a scattering of capers or herbs.

Elsewhere in Greece it’s usually served with feta crumbled on top and tastes just as good. Though they would still only use the traditional paximadi rusks. Still traditionally made from whole grain barley flour, salt and yeast, they are twice baked and hard as a rock. They were easy to transport when travelling and are sprinkled with a little water and olive oil to soften them a little.

As a bonus this is a meal that’s also good for you, the benefits of a mediterranean diet can all be found on one plate. The barley helps with the control of blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure, and more check here. Tomatoes are loaded with antioxidants, olive oil protects your heart and feta being a low fat cheese will give you the protein your body needs without the added calories.

There can’t be many lunches as good for you as a Greek one?

On the island we have access to fresh, locally grown ingredients that are organic. Nearly every household will be growing their own salad vegetables and herbs, our first tomatoes of the season are just ready to picked. The oregano was dried last summer and the olive oil we picked last year. Now I need to go out and water the garden.

  • 2 large pieces of dakos bread
  • 2 large or 4 small ripe tomatoes grated and drained
  • 75g feta cheese
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • handful black olives
  • a few capers
  • dried oregano
  1. Grate the tomato into a sieve over a bowl and drain for a couple of minutes
  2. Briefly rinse the dakos under the cold tap and shake. Don’t leave it too long you don’t want soggy dakos. Then Pour at least 1 tbsp of virgin olive oil over your dakos, you can never have too much olive oil.
  3. Place the grated tomatoes on top of the prepared dakos covering the top completely and sprinkle  liberally with feta cheese, a little more olive oil and some dried oregano.
  4. You can then add olives and/or capers, I like both.

cretan dakos

anyone for lunch?

καλή όρεξη! (Kali orexi – enjoy your meal!)

Do you have a favourite Greek food? Do you plan to make this or have you made it before? If you enjoyed this post and found it useful please share and leave a comment below. Thank you

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