Cretan Greek Salad with Barley Rusk

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  • 4-5 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 cucumber (approx. 10-12” long)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • ¼# Greek feta
  • 1 tablespoon Dried Greek Oregano
  • Sea Salt – preferably pink Himalayan
  • ½ + cup O’Live A Little’s Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 12 black Greek Olives cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted capers
  • 4-6 Barley Rusks (Paximadia) - 
  • Rusks are an ancient food in Greece. They are the twice-baked breads, in various shapes. Years ago a lack of fuel (wood) made daily, or even weekly, baking almost extravagant in the Greek countryside. These rusks are slowly dehydrated during the second baking, which happens overnight in a wood-burning oven that is not fired up but still warm. They last forever. Happily for us, with the turn of a dial or push of a button, we can turn on our ovens and whip up a quick batch in no time!
  • Paximadia are usually softened with water or olive oil before eating. They’re great with olives and cheese, but very versatile. See recipe below if you would like to make your own. They are available on-line as well, but so much better homemade!
  • You can certainly omit the Rusk if desired!


Method of Preparation:

Wash and dry the tomatoes, cucumbers and green pepper. Peel the onion. Cut the tomatoes into bite-size irregularly shaped chunks, removing the core. Lightly salt. Slice the cucumber into ¼” slices, cutting the slices in half (whether or not you peel the cucumber is a personal choice). Lightly salt. Remove the stem and seeds from the green pepper and thinly slice. Lightly salt. Thinly slice the onion into rings.

Combine all the above vegetables in a large bowl for mixing. Add the olives, sprinkle with oregano, olive oil and toss.  Soak the barley ruck in water for 10 seconds and put it on the plate (family style or individual) that you will be serving the salad. Drizzle approx. 1 tablespoon olive oil on each rusk that is used. Spoon the vegetable mixture with the olive oil over the rusk. Top with either a slice or crumbles of Feta. Sprinkle a little more oregano over the feta and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Perfection on a plate!

This entry was posted by John Smith in Recipes