We don’t bake bread very much any more, mostly because we don’t eat very much of it. But this loaf is special. Full of walnuts and raisins, flavoured with sweet potato, it is a tempting loaf. We love it for breakfast, slightly toasted with real butter. Enjoy!
Dakos, the salad, is a loved salad of Crete, made with rock hard crisp breads and tomatoes, feta and olives. Ottolenghi has a version in his book Plenty More, born of his stay in Crete where he fell in love with it.
Dakos is alsothe name given to oven-dried breads (often called rusks), which are made with barley to make them sweeter, nuttier and more crunchy than their wheat-only counterparts. Spread out on a plate and covered with the best ripest chopped tomatoes, good olive oil, some crumbled white cheese and black olives, they are seriously addictive. (Confusingly, both this dish and the unadorned rusks themselves are called Dakos!)
Cretan barley rusks aren’t easy to come by (try Greek grocers or online), but the salad Dakos is easy to make with any dried bread, e.g. the Italian Frese Integrali (aka friselle, freselle, frisedde, fresedde, frise) or the Swedish wholemeal Krisprolls, which are more commonly available in some supermarkets and many specialty stores. The tomato juices and vinegar seep into and soften the dry bread as they mix with the creamy cheese and olive oil, to create a timeless Greek experience.
However, if you don’t have access to Dakos or other rusks, try drizzling some medium thick slices of wheat bread with olive oil and baking for 10 – 15 mins in a 175C – 180C oven. They need to be hard, and the ingredients of the salad soak into the bread to soften it and make it addictively delicious.
The taste of any simple tomato-based salad is dependent on the quality of the tomatoes. There is a rich and beefy depth to end-of-season tomatoes that can exceed even those of high summer, but if yours are anything other than bursting with flavour, a pinch of sugar or a few drops of balsamic vinegar will help draw out their natural sweetness. And maybe mix your feta with some ricotta, to simulate the flavour of the sweet Cretan mizithra cheese, which is often served with dakos. (Thanks for this advice, Ottolenghi.)
This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.
In fact it is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Browse all of our Tomato Salads, and all of our Salads. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.
We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
These Pol Roti are very popular in Sri Lanka, are eaten at all meals by many, and are particularly loved for breakfast. Pol Roti pairs well with curries, and Sri Lankan sambols, pickles and chutneys. They are even delicious with butter and jam!
A tawa is perfect for cooking them, but you can use any flat pan, griddle, hot plate or BBQ.
Pol Roti can be made thin or thicker. We have made them thick here, but you can choose to roll them out to a thinner roti. Chop the onions or chilli into smaller pieces for thinner roti.
If Focaccia is half way between pizza and bread, then Schiacciata is half way between Focaccia and Pizza. It is flat and usually infused beautifully with olive oil.
Originally cooked in the ashes of the hearth, schiacciata, meaning squashed, is flat and 2 – 3 cm thick (but can be thinner). Variations of the bread are made throughout Italy. In Tuscany, it is simply brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Herbs such as rosemary can be added. A sweet version with grapes and sugar is also made.
This recipe with onion and cheese is great weekday lunch-at-home fare, even for Sunday night supper. It is great with a hearty soup. Maybe Onion Soup would be fabulous. In late Summer, pair it with ripe, bursting figs and celebrate the end of summer.
Similar recipes include Sweet Potato Bread with Raisins and Walnuts.
You might also liked our Focaccia recipes. Our pizza recipes are here. If you need pizza dough, the recipes are here. Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series. Or explore our Late Spring dishes.
When life is busy, simple is necessary. Eating healthy but quickly means the freshest of ingredients, whatever is in the fridge, without too much thinking or cooking. We are in that space at the moment, life is busy, simple is the way we are eating. Simple but good. VERY good. It is important to remember that salads need not be complex or take time to make.
For this salad, toast some bread really well, and mix it with some tomatoes for an awesome salad. The success of the salad lies in great tomatoes and a very good, tasty, extra virgin olive oil.
Are you after other Tomato Salads? Try Dakos, Na’ama’s Fattoush, Tomato Salad with Parsley Oil, Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad, and Kachumber – Indian Tomato and Cucumber Salad.
A spicy toastie filled with paneer and tomato.
Bread doesn’t actually see the light of day very much in this household. It makes an occasional appearance, for guests, or for some recipe we are making. This week, as we had bread left over from that occasional appearance, we turned to Indian Toasties. This time, it is Paneer Toast.
Sandwiches are serious business in India as snacks and street foods.
You have to love a country that is serious about its sandwiches. Italy with its open sandwich type bruschettas, laden with seasonal ingredients. France with their bountiful baguettes, and India with its spicy mixtures stuffed between layers of bread and often coated with chickpea batter before pan toasting or frying. India has a commitment to sandwiches as serious snacks and street food.
Goodness from Bill’s in Sydney
A delicious snack, filling and comforting, for a day when you are snuggled up on the couch reading a book, or perhaps before you rush off to the next football game. They are great for breakfast or brunch too.
A delicious accompaniment to all dishes
This roti-style flatbread is very easy to make and is a delicious accompaniment to all dishes. Soup, curries, lentils, braises, salads and many more. Tonight it was a very early and quick snack/dinner of sautéed mushrooms with some quickly whipped up buttery roti. A super combination.
You may also like any of our breads, or farinatas. Check out our Dosa recipes too. Or explore all of our Indian Recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. You might also like to explore our Early Autumn dishes as well.
Indian sandwiches are serious business, taking as much time and attention as some other dishes.
Indian sandwiches and toasties are serious business. Australia is different. Here, we throw sandwiches together quickly, little preparation is involved, they are quick solutions to satisfying hunger at home, work, school or on the road, on a picnic or at the beach.
In India, the fillings are constructed with as much thought and preparation as any other meal. Ingredients are made, other ingredients are sautéed, some are cooked, and then they all come together with chilli for a delicious meal-in-a-sandwich.
Enjoy this one. It is delicious.