Dakos Salad
Dakos Salad

Dakos Salad is a Greek salad specialty made from fresh tomatoes, feta, capers, onions, oregano and basil. You get the taste of summer in one fell swoop.

A specialty of the Greek island of Crete, this fragrant salad of fresh tomatoes and feta garnished with capers, red onions, oregano and basil is a vibrant taste of summer.

Serves Dakos Salad as part of a mezze spread or perhaps alongside a barbecue, but it’s also substantial enough to be eaten as a meal on its own. In my opinion, this is the type of food I crave on those hot, sunny days when you don’t feel like cooking and just want to put together a quick and easy meal.

What’s in Dakos Salad?

barley rusk: Traditionally, Dakos is made with barley rusks, called paximadi in Greek, which are dry, hard, savory biscuits. You can find them at specialty Mediterranean grocery stores or online. You can also replace them with any type of whole wheat crusty bun that you can find in most major supermarkets these days (or even Ikea – crusty buns are also very popular in Scandinavian cuisine).

Mizithra Cheese: In Crete, the dish was prepared with Mizithra cheese, a local soft, sweet cheese made from sheep’s and goat’s milk. Since this can be difficult to source outside of Greece, it’s often substituted with feta, which I think tastes just as good, if not better.

Tomatoes: This is a salad that really relies on the quality of the tomatoes, so buy quality tomatoes. To get the best flavor out of your tomatoes, don’t refrigerate them unless you really have to (i.e. they’re fully ripe and about to spoil) as the cold can affect their flavor and aroma. Leave them in a bowl until ready to use. One thing I like to do is set a bowl of tomatoes out in the sun for a few hours before using them. I swear it even makes a difference to the chilled store bought ones!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: You should also make sure you are using a really good quality extra virgin olive oil. It’s important to store bottles of olive oil away from bright sunlight or heat, both of which can cause them to go rancid sooner. Keep it in a cupboard away from your stove so it will last longer. If you want to learn a little more about quality olive oil, we have an olive oil buying guide that will tell you all about the different ways to buy, how to store and how to use it.

Dako’s salad swaps and substitutions

Once you get the basics of this recipe down, it’s incredibly flexible. Here are some ideas to switch it up:

  • Would you like to use some mint instead of basil? Do it.
  • Can’t find the right rusks or crispy rolls? Dice 2 thick slices of sourdough bread, drizzle with olive oil and bake in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes until dry and crispy like croutons, using those instead.
  • Fancy a cucumber? Feel free to add it.

Dako’s salad storage

You can prepare this salad up to an hour before eating. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and ideally consumed within 24 hours.

More recipes from Yasmin Khan

  • Turkish Braised Green Beans
  • Lemon Chicken Soup
  • Halloumi Saganaki

Dakos Salad

preparation time
15 minutes

total time
15 minutes

4 servings

If you can’t find Dakos rusks for this recipe, you can use 8 whole wheat crunchies or 2 thick slices of sourdough, cut into pieces and bake in a 350°F oven until dry and crunchy like croutons, about 10 minutes.


  • 1 lb ripe tomatoescut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoon Red onions, finely diced

  • 1/4 Cup black olives (like Kalamata), stoned and roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon capersroughly chopped

  • Small handful parsley leaveschopped

  • Small handful basil leaveschopped

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 4 tablespoon olive oilplus extra for drizzling

  • 1/3 teaspoon Saltplus more to taste

  • Black peppertaste

  • 6 Dako’s rusks or two tight slices sourdough cut into pieces and roasted

  • 1/2 Cup fetadecay


  1. Combine salad ingredients:

    In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, olives, capers, parsley, basil, oregano, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper to taste.

  2. Crumble the rusks over the salad and leave to rest:

    Break the rusks into 1-inch pieces. Add to the salad and then use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients together. Leave the salad to rest for 10 minutes so that the rusk can soften in the tomato juice.

  3. Top with feta:

    Once the salad has rested for 10 minutes, pour the feta over it.

  4. Finish and serve the salad:

    Check the seasonings and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Finish with a final drizzle of olive oil. Surcharge.

nutritional information (per serving)
294 calories
19g Fat
24g carbohydrates
7g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!