There’s a nurse I work with who’s lived in Greece for 25 years. She married a greek man and had all of her kids here. She speaks fluent Greek and cooks like a Greek housewife. I guess she is a greek housewife, right?
Anyway, she has this openness and enthusiasm for everything good in this country. We’ve taken to bringing in ingredients from home and throwing together simple dishes to share at lunch. She gets a big kick out of eating the more American Southwest things I make, refried bean burritos with shredded cabbage yesterday, and I really enjoy learning some Greek dishes that use the mysterious ingredients I wonder about in the grocery here.
This week, she taught me to make this surprisingly simple, but incredibly delicious salad. It’s a traditional dish from Crete made with rusks, a dry cracker-like bread. These are so popular that most groceries here have entire aisles of different sorts of rusks, which you’d find more impressive if you knew that there’s only 3 to 4 different boxed cereals and half a dozen ice creams to choose from.
One of the best things about this salad is how quickly you can assemble it. I can get it on the table in no more than 5 minutes using the following ingredients per person:
First, place the rusks or dried bread on a large plate and sprinkle with a bit of water. About 3 small rusks per person.
Coarsely chop one large tomato per person.
Pile tomatoes on top of rusks. Top with chunks of feta cheese and capers. Sprinkle the salad with vinegar, olive oil and oregano.
What are you waiting for? EAT!
You are going to seriously love this one…
- one large ripe tomato.
- 3 small rusks, you can substitute a hearty whole grain bread that’s been set out to become dry.
- a small hunk of feta cheese, about 1 oz., broken into pieces.
- a heaping Tablespoon of bottled capers.
- a sprinkling each of red wine vinegar, cold pressed olive oil and dried oregano.
- Place the rusks or dried bread on a large plate and sprinkle with a bit of water. About 3 small rusks per person.
- Coarsely chop one large tomato per person.
- Pile tomatoes on top of rusks.
- Top with chunks of feta cheese and capers.
- Sprinkle the salad with vinegar, olive oil and oregano.