Traditional Cretan ntakos: a rusk sandwich toast topped with the freshest ingredients such as tomatoes, feta cheese, capers and olives!
The very first time I heard about ntakos (ντάκος in Greek) was in Santorini, one of Greece’s fabulous islands.
Have you been to Greece before?
This ntakos was often our lunch or part of a mezze dinner. Just imagine reaching the end of a long walk in the blazing sun in the Greek hills, the bright blue mediterranean sea all around you, you are literally sweating your ass off and you feel absolutely filthy. Because all of that island dust and sand is sticking to your sun screen soaked skin.
But before you take that well deserved shower, you’re dying for a good crystal clear and foamy crisp beer. Ad fundum goes the first beer and you order a second one. And because the first beer has sharpened your appetite you ask for a little mezze on the side.
So in comes the second beer and this great looking rusk sandwich loaded with and abundance of the most amazing tomato bruschetta and feta cheese and olives and capers and dried herbs. Just a drizzle of fruity olive oil, pepper and salt is all it needs.
So Santorini, that’s where I was then with a beer and dakos. On a sea view balcony. Awesome. But it is only afterwards I learnt that dakos is actually a specialty from another lovely Greek island, Crete.
It also goes by the names koukouvagia or koukouvayia. The Greek call that typical barley rusk paximadi. I used wholegrain Krisprolls® though.
Apparently the best way to serve the dakos is to top off the rusk with the diced tomato, feta etc. and leave the rusk to soak up the tomato juice for a couple of minutes.
- 4 large fresh tomatoes
- 2 large garlic cloves peeled
- 2 handfuls black olives
- 5,5 oz feta cheese (155 g)
- 2 tbsp capers in brine
- 2 tbsp dried thyme
- 4 wholegrain rusks
- Clean and trim the tomatoes. Don’t deseed them. Chop the tomatoes up into rough chunks and add them to a clean blender.
- Pulse a few times until you get a chunky and watery puree. Don’t blend it into a fine paste! Add a pinch of pepper and salt to taste.
- Stir the tomatoes and put them in the fridge for now. Rinse the black olives and slice them up finely.
- Crumble the feta cheese.
- Rub the rusks very lightly (the raw garlic can quickly overpower the other flavors) and spread the chunky tomato tapenade on top. Sprinkle the tomato with a layer of crumbled feta cheese. Garnish with the sliced black olives and the salts capers. Season with the dried thyme and add a last sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper and salt. Serve.