Cretan Dakos Tomato Salad
I discovered culinary perfection among the ancient Minoan ruins and breathtaking ocean vistas on a family vacation to the island of Crete.
“Dakos” combines tangy tomatoes, savory cheese, rich olive oil and crunchy bread into a healthy and satisfying salad. Cretan Tomato Dakos Salad can be served as a lunch entrée or dinner side dish – perfectly paired with a dry white wine.
About 4-5 large beefsteak tomatoes – try Heirloom Marriage™ Big Brandy, Genuwine and Cherokee Carbon
4-5 barley or rye rusks – if not available, hardy bread that has been toasted until stiff and hard
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup farmer cheese – or whipped cream cheese, ricotta or small-curd cottage cheese
Basil, parsley, mint, dill – to taste
Optional Hot pepper flakes or hot sauce
Optional Capers or chopped olives
1. Cut tomatoes into small pieces, about ½ inch cubes, and place in large bowl.
2. Add a teaspoon each of garlic salt, black pepper and oregano to tomatoes and mix thoroughly.
3. Set tomatoes aside and allow to macerate for 30 minutes up to 2 hours.
4. In a separate bowl add 1 cup crumbled feta cheese and ½ cup farmer cheese (or similar).
5. Add 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes or 1 tablespoon hot sauce, and ½ teaspoon of oregano to cheese mixture and stir.
6. On a large serving platter crumble the rusks (or dried bread) into bite size pieces.
7. Spoon tomato mixture evenly across crumbled rusks. Be sure to add juice from tomatoes, the liquid will help to soften the rusks.
8. Liberally drizzle olive oil over tomatoes, approximately 3 tablespoons.
9. Spoon cheese mixture evenly across tomatoes.
10. Chop fresh herbs (basil, parsley, mint, dill) and spread across cheese mixture.
11. Use a slotted spoon to place capers or olives on top to taste.
12. Garnish with a sprig of herbs for extra decoration and aromatics.
13. Allow rusks to soften in tomato juice for about 15-20 minutes prior to serving.