Grilled Dakos

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I know what you’re thinking. What is this? Salad? Really? After stuffed lamb burgers and  rice pudding, how could I possibly get excited about some boring vegetables? Au contraire mon ami!

This simple recipe combines the famous Italian Panzanella with  the not-so-famous Cretan Dako (Ntako) for a flavor that will make a vegetable lover out of anyone. Paximadia  are the foundation of a Dako and since I just made some, this worked out perfectly. Do keep in mind though that you can always buy them ready-made at a specialty grocery store or (weirdly enough) on Amazon. The paximadia are softened slightly before being topped with grilled peppers and zucchini,  tomato, cucumber, olives, crumbled feta and fresh basil tossed with extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. The taste you find in this combination is far from boring.

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GRILLED DAKOS
Inspired by Camille Styles

1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and quartered
1 green pepper, stemmed, seeded and quartered
1 zucchini, trimmed, cut diagonally in 1/2 inch pieces
salt & pepper
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c kalamata olives, chopped
6-10 basil leaves, chiffonade
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 c crumbled feta
3 paximadia/barley rusks (6 halves)

Serves 3

Heat grill to medium. Brush peppers and zucchini with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until slightly charred and tender. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool.

Meanwhile, combine cucumber, tomatoes, olives and basil in a large bowl. Chop peppers and zucchini. Add to bowl. Whisk oil and vinegar together, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add dressing to salad, toss to gently coat, and add feta.

Place one rusk in bowl. Wet rusk with water to soften. Top with salad.

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