Feta on Barley Rusks with Cherry Tomato Relish

Inspired by the traditional Dakos/paximadia Salad from Crete, this is a somewhat different, delicious summer treat, or even an ideal lunch for the hot days. We prepared it with chef Michael Costa during the Greek Dinner we served to the 600+ participants of the 20019 Oxford Symposium, the last one that actually took place in Oxford; it has since moved to Zoom, due to the pandemic…


The dressing/relish is versatile and you can also use it over grilled chicken, fish or meat. This bright and fresh dish is ideal for picnics and garden dining.

See also the purslane-tomato relish I had posted earlier. 



Serves about 20 as a meze and 10-12 as summer lunch


600 grams small plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise


2/3 cup chopped scallions green onions) 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


1 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)


3-4 chopped pickled green peppers –NOT very hot


500 grams Barrel-aged Greek feta cut into longish, about ¼ inch slices



4 teaspoons pickling juice from the peppers


4 tablespoons Greek white wine vinegar


½ cup Greek fruity EVO, plus more to drizzle


1 tablespoon coarsely ground coriander seeds


Zest from one lemon (fine)


90 grams Paximadia (barley rusks) coarsely crumbled OR toasted stale whole-wheat, multi-grain bread 


In a bowl toss the tomatoes with the dressing and herbs –minus the lemon zest– and let macerate for about 1 hour.


Transfer to a sieve placed over a bowl to collect the juices.


To serve, spread the crumbled paximadia on a plate, sprinkle with the juices collected in the bowl, place the feta slices over the paximadia and arrange the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with fruity olive oil and sprinkle with the lemon zest.




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