This is a dish that took me quite some time to get used to. I found that the barley rusks usually causes my mouth more harm than good (they are crunchy, and that is to put it mildly!) – that is until I attempted to make it myself at home. And I have to tell you, this is one of the best umami-laden salads you can have which is also very healthy. The feta and capers go really well with other, and olives and tomatoes? Do I need to say more?
The Greek barley rusks are not easy to come by (unless you live in Greece.) but here is a website that I have been told is really rather good: GreekMarket. It delivers to anywhere (according to the FAQ). This will have to do until the day I attempt to make my own paximadi!
150 g of barley rusk (Greek paximadi παξιμάδι )
4 large tomatoes, diced roughly
100g of feta (Greek feta please, none of these Greek-style white cheeses)
A large handful of Kalamata olives, pitted and halved (or whole, if you want)
2 tbsp of capers, roughly chopped.
A sprinkle of oregano
Olive oil, according to taste (the more the better!)
1. Arrange out a flat layer of paximadi in a flat-bottomed bowl.
2. Add the tomatoes on top, along with the juices. (this will help soften the paximadi a bit so you don’t lose your teeth eating the darn thing.) Sprinkle the rusks with some water, too, to help it along (sometimes the rusks are very thick and very hard!).
3. Add the olives and the capers.
4. Roughly crumble the feta on top.
5. Add a sprinkling of oregano and dress it with olive oil. I would say use 2-3 tbsps of olive oil, and let it soak all the way down into the paximadi.
6. Leave to rest for a few minutes, until all the oil has trickled down to the bottom of the bowl. Stir before serving. The paximadi should be part crunchy part bread-soaked-with-oil-textured. Enjoy!