Join! 12 weeks for $1

.
Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Cretan Salad (Dakos)

Cretan Salad (Dakos)

Appears in July-August 2022

1 hour

Made This Recipe? Write a Review.
Thank you for submitting your review! A member of our team is confirming the review meets our site's Community Guidelines. It will be posted on the site shortly.

Cretan Salad (Dakos)

Free

On the island of Crete, we learned there are countless versions of the local salad called dakos, which is similar to a basic Greek salad combined with an Italian panzanella. A key component of dakos are barley rusks, which have a decidedly whole-grain flavor. Their dry, crunchy texture absorbs the dressing and the vegetables’ juices without turning mushy. Our favorite dakos was the one served at Ntounias restaurant in Drakona that combined more than a dozen ingredients—including roasted vegetables, leafy greens, two types of alliums, plus tomatoes, cucumbers and bold accents like olives and sun-dried tomatoes. This is our much-simplified adaptation of that salad. Marianna Leivaditaki, London-based chef and native of Crete, suggested that we use whole-grain sourdough bread, cut into chunks and toasted, for the barley rusks and pomegranate molasses for the grape molasses that was drizzled onto the dakos at Ntounias. Another essential ingredient is cheese. The fresh, milky sheep’s- or goat’s-milk cheese called mizithra is traditional but very difficult to find in the U.S., so instead we use feta.

6

Servings

Tip

Don’t skip the step of allowing the bread, tomato, cucumber and onion to stand for about 10 minutes after tossing with some of the dressing. This brief marination slightly softens the bread and gives the ingredients a chance to mix and meld.

1 hour

2 medium tomatoes (about 12 ounces total), cored and cut into 8 wedges each
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
6 ounces sourdough bread, preferably whole-grain, cut into 1-inch cubes (3 cups)
2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 medium yellow or white onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 cups lightly packed baby arugula (2½ ounces)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
1-2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
Ingredients
  • 2

    medium tomatoes (about 12 ounces total), cored and cut into 8 wedges each

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 6

    ounces sourdough bread, preferably whole-grain, cut into 1-inch cubes (3 cups)

  • 2

    tablespoons plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1

    English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • ½

    medium yellow or white onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 4

    cups lightly packed baby arugula (2½ ounces)

  • ½

    cup golden raisins

  • ¼

    cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • ½

    cup pitted green olives, chopped

  • 4

    ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

  • 1-2
.
In the store
More

Sides

Reviews
Diana L.
July 22, 2022
So good
I made this a few times it is so good. Thanks for the recipe.
Amy T.
July 17, 2022
Interesting and tasty
I was skeptical about the ingredients' flavours going well together, but I was pleasantly surprised. I've made this three times now and am hooked!

Down arrow

Cretan Salad (Dakos)

Get Ready to Cook

6

Servings

1 hour

Tip

Don’t skip the step of allowing the bread, tomato, cucumber and onion to stand for about 10 minutes after tossing with some of the dressing. This brief marination slightly softens the bread and gives the ingredients a chance to mix and meld.

Ingredients
  • 2

    medium tomatoes (about 12 ounces total), cored and cut into 8 wedges each

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 6

    ounces sourdough bread, preferably whole-grain, cut into 1-inch cubes (3 cups)

  • 2

    tablespoons plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1

    English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • ½

    medium yellow or white onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 4

    cups lightly packed baby arugula (2½ ounces)

  • ½

    cup golden raisins

  • ¼

    cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • ½

    cup pitted green olives, chopped

  • 4

    ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

  • 1-2
Step 1 of 4

Prepare the Tomatoes

2
medium tomatoes (about 12 ounces total), cored and cut into 8 wedges each
½
teaspoon salt

Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the upper-middle position. In a colander set over a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside to drain until needed; occasionally shake the colander to encourage the juices to drain off.

Step 2 of 4

Bake the Bread

2
tablespoons plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6
ounces sourdough bread, preferably whole-grain, cut into 1-inch cubes (3 cups)
cup red wine vinegar
½
teaspoon salt
½
teaspoon pepper

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of the oil and distribute in an even layer. Bake until the bread is golden brown and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes; stir once about halfway through. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup oil, vinegar and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Step 3 of 4

Toss the Ingredients

1
English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
½
medium yellow or white onion, halved and thinly sliced

When the bread is done, transfer it while still warm to a large serving bowl, then add the tomatoes (discard the juices), cucumber and onion. Drizzle with half of the dressing, then toss. Let stand for about 10 minutes, tossing once or twice, to allow the bread to soften slightly.

Step 4 of 4

Finish and Serve

4
cups lightly packed baby arugula (2½ ounces)
½
cup golden raisins
¼
cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
½
cup pitted green olives, chopped
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4
ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
1-2
tablespoons pomegranate molasses

Add the arugula, raisins, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and remaining dressing; toss well. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the feta and drizzle with the pomegranate molasses.

Milk Street Bowtie Logo

Done!

Did you enjoy this recipe?

Want more?

See More Sides