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Tomato, Rusk, and Olive Salad: Dakos Salata

by Georgina Hayden from Taverna: Recipes From a Cypriot Kitchen

This traditional Cretan salad is excellent as part of a mezze spread, but is substantial enough to be a meal in itself. It's made with fresh tomatoes, wholemeal crispbreads, and salty feta cheese.

From the book

Georgina Hayden


Hailing from Crete, dakos is a dish that consists of large barley rusks (paximadi) softened with oil and water and topped with ripe sweet tomatoes. It is then finished with feta or a Cretan cheese called myzithra. This salad is based on that recipe, and is more a meal than a snack or meze. We eat it almost weekly during the summer. Please don’t try making it with out of season or unripe tomatoes though; they really do need to be sweet and juicy for this recipe to sing.

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½ a red onion
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
12 black olives
400g ripe tomatoes
6 dakos or wholemeal crispbreads
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a few sprigs of basil and flat-leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
125g feta
½tsp dried oregano


Peel and finely slice the red onion. Place in a large mixing bowl with the red wine vinegar and leave to one side to soften for 5 minutes.

Remove the stones from the olives and tear into pieces. Chop the tomatoes in a mixture of sizes. Once the red onion has softened, add the tomato and olives to the bowl and crumble in the dakos or crispbreads. Add the capers and extra virgin olive oil. Tear in the basil leaves, roughly chop the parsley and add to the bowl, then season to taste. Crumble over the feta, scatter over the dried oregano and serve.


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From the book: Taverna: Recipes From a Cypriot Kitchen

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