Dakos/Ntakos (barley rusk), usually round but also rectangular, used to be a common substitute for bread in traditional everyday Cretan tables. Fresh baked bread was not always easy to make and keep, but rusks could be made in large quantities at a time and consumed over weeks or months, softened by sprinkling water on them before eating.
Nowadays they can form the base of a quick appetizer or snack, like in the simple recipe below, with extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes, and feta cheese.
• 4 round Cretan barley rusks about 4 inches in diameter (8-10 cm) or 4
slices toasted and thick whole grain bread
• 4 medium tomatoes grated
• 4-5 ounces crumbled feta cheese
• 1/3 cup of olive oil
• Dry oregano
• A few black olives for decoration
1. Grate the tomatoes and drain all the liquids.
2. Pass the rusk under running water (very quickly) and place on a plate. (Skip
this step if you using bread). Cretan rusks are very hard but you do not want
to soften them too much, you do not want a soggy dakos. It should still be
crunchy but easily breakable.
3. Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and let it absorb. (can add more oil if you like, in
Greece people use plenty).
4. Spoon the tomato on top, covering the whole rusk and then add the crumbled
5. Drizzle with another teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with oregano. Top with a