Gosh, those wild Cretan ladies made me work hard making those dakos, but I enjoyed every minute it; so much so that one of them said she’d adopt me as her daughter (who couldn’t make dakos to save her life). This recipe looks impressive and is a great way to celebrate sweet summery tomatoes.
200g chickpeas, soaked overnight with 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150ml olive oil
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground turmeric
¾ tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp ground coriander
12 medium tomatoes (1.5kg net)
1 large red onion, finely diced (130g net)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
400g dakos, Swedish krisprolls or Italian friselle, broken into 4 centimetre chunks
300g feta, broken into 3cm chunks
15g basil leaves
200ml olive oil
100ml red wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place in a large pan with plenty of water, on a high heat. Bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for about an hour, skimming the surface once or twice, until the chickpeas are completely soft. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Add 4 tablespoons of oil to a medium sauté pan and place on a medium-low heat. Add the chickpeas, spices and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring and lightly crushing the chickpeas as you go, until they are soft and nicely coated in the spices and oil. Set aside.
- Grate a third of the tomatoes and discard the skin. Chop the remaining tomatoes into 1 centimetre dice. Place both in a bowl along with the onion, garlic, 3 tablespoons of oil, ¾ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Set aside.
- To make the marinade, mix together the olive oil and vinegar with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Spread the dakos out onto a baking tray large enough to hold them in a single layer but so that they are sitting snugly, 30 by 40 centimetres. Drizzle the marinade all over and spoon the tomato mix on top, followed by the spiced chickpeas. Dot on the chunks of feta, slightly pressing them between the bread. Scatter over the basil and drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Place in the oven and bake for 25, until the feta is starting to brown, and serve.