A Dakos a Day ………

Milos, Greece

Hi all,

Apologies right away for still posting summer recipes, but being here in Milos I can’t help myself. I simply must take advantage of all the terrific end of season produce. As you know one of my favourite things in the world is Dakos: so exquisitely delicious and good for you too!

dakos recipe

Slicing the barley rusks in half is a hoot. I use my bread knife like a saw and feel all carpenterish. Ha! The rusks might fall apart but don’t worry, you can join the bits up before adding the next layer of deliciousness.  Soften the rusks with some water and then a swirl of olive oil. Note of caution: don’t go nuts on the water.

Start with a tablespoon of water and let it soak in. Then add a bit more. I have had totally soggy dakos and unless you have a very weak gag reflex it is to be avoided. Add chopped or sieved tomatoes with their juice, a big glop of fresh soft goat cheese, kalamata olives, capers and a generous sprinkling of oregano. Swirl some more olive oil over all and dig in.

Dakos is incredibly easy to make here on the island with: local capers, barley rusks available in every bakery, and gorgeous fresh goat cheese and tomatoes from the lady down the road. Back in France, I like to do a mini version for parties. Not the same of course but good when the Herblay skies get gray and heavy. I use small rusks from the supermarket (not barley but not bad either), the best tomatoes I can find (in winter I use cherry tomatoes as they have more flavour), and kalamatas from the market. For the cheese, I find the soft French goat cheese quite strong in flavour so I mix it with a bit of brousse (fresh cheese with a more neutral taste from the south of France; it can be goat, sheep or a mixture sometimes including cow’s cheese). I confess to cheating and bringing back as many capers from Greece as our baggage allowance will permit. Also,next time you are in the Athens airport, look out for the little cloth bags of organic oregano-a terrific bargain at one euro each.

Two apologies in one post and this one is to Emily-sorry this isn’t gluten free. Do gluten free rusks exist? Let’s find out. Bye for now.

ps. Amani’s tabbouleh  also in the photo.


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6 thoughts on “A Dakos a Day ………

  1. Deena Kakaya October 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm Reply

    Really interesting recipe and new to me! What’s the texture of Dakos like? Are they moist, crumbly? X

    • Jan October 24, 2013 at 8:05 am Reply

      Hi Deena,
      Sorry to be so slow getting back to you. We had our big end of season party here on Milos so that took a fair amount of time. We had mini dakos as part of the buffet and I thought of you, wishing I could send a few along for you to taste.
      Dakos are hard, until you soften them. Seriously they are break a tooth hard!The idea was that they would keep almost forever, and when you needed them you just needed to add a little water or oil. The softening is a trial and error process. I prefer them still on the crisp side. Some people use only oil, some only water and most people like me, do a combination. The risk is softening them too much.
      With the little ones, the juice from the tomatoes takes care of that for you.
      I hope you get to taste dakos and that you enjoy the flavours as much as I do. All the best, Jan

  2. Emily October 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm Reply

    Indeed a sad moment for me- I love Dakos but there is currently no gluten-free substitute to this rustic deliciousness. All of the gluten free substitutes could not withstand the lovely olive oil, tomato combo and would just crumble, becoming a soggy horrible mess. I can see certain variations I could make but it would not come anywhere near the texture/taste combination the barley rusks offer. One thing could be to have thick sliced eggplant lightly pan fried in a non stick pan with a bit of oregano- and then add the gorgeous toppings to that once it’s cooled down. Another option could be to use raw zucchini. Again, both of these variations would probably be delicious- but they wouldn’t soak up all those lovely juices like the rusks would. I’ll have a look at making some sort of gluten free rusk.

  3. MariannaF October 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm Reply

    Beth all I am going to say is yes- DO what you are doing and take advantage of all that end of season produce!!! Mediterranean countries are a blessing when it comes to produce, especially tomatoes in my opinion!! This looks beautiful, in my non-vegan life I would eat it with pleasure. But I can totally see myself enjoying this minus the goat cheese. This is one of these simple recipes where if you’re working with fresh, quality tasty ingredients…. then that’s all that matters!!!

    • Beth October 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm Reply

      My mom certainly makes a mean dakos! Sadly I am back from Greece now and – although Paris has so much wonderful food – I cannot find the same tomatoes here as on Milos. I guess I’ll just have to drool over these pictures for the time being…

  4. Beth October 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm Reply

    Mom, how you torture me! These look amazing. So tempting to head out to the airport and jump on the first plane to Greece!

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