The recipes that use raw olive oil in the Cretan diet are basically kinds of salad, or generally side dishes, that are quick to prepare, but also very healthy. All the ingredients in these excellent dishes are fresh. All of these ingredients grow naturally in Crete, too.
The Cretan cuisine has olive oil in its centre. And the recipes that use raw Cretan olive oil are both plenty and popular. Most possibly the two most known of them are the traditional Greek salad and the Cretan Dakos (or Ntakos).
The Greek sald (or the “Choriatiki” salad, as it is called in Greek, meaning “village salad”) is one of the main side dishes of the Greek cuisine, and a salad that practically every visitor to Crete and Greece wants to taste.
And – you guessed it – the traditional recipe for Greek salad has one main ingredient in its core: the raw olive oil. Let’s see all the salad’s ingredients one by one.
The basic two ingredients of the Greek salad is tomato, cut in medium-sized pieces, and cucumber, also cut in medium-sized pieces. The other ingredients are onion, cut in thin slices, traditional feta cheese, and black olives.
On top of all these you put (a little) oregano, (a little) wine vinegar, and, of course, the raw olive oil, preferably from Crete. It’s better to put them in the above order, too, according to the traditional Greek recipe.
The Greek (or Choriatiki) salad is a very quick and healthy recipe of the Greek – and Cretan – cuisine. And the quality of the olive oil you use is extremely important for its final taste. A perfect olive oil to make yourself a healthy, delicious Greek salad at home is Psaroudakis extra virgin olive oil.
Dakos (or Ntakos) is for the Cretan cuisine what Greek salad is for the Greek cuisine in general: a “flagship” and extremely popular dish.
Dakos takes its name from the thick Cretan barley rusk of the same name, which – literally – forms the base of the dish. On top of it there are tomato, cut in small-sized pieces, and Cretan mizithra cheese (which is the local version of ricotta cheese).
Finally, on top of all these you put oregano, basil (optionally) and, of course, the tasty raw Cretan olive oil, which gives Dakos its characteristic, hard-to-forget taste.
Dakos is a quick and healthy recipe that is a basic part of the Cretan diet for centuries. It was historically an easy, nutritious food to be prepared in almost every occasion. The rusk as the basis of the dish also had to do with its advantage to be easily preserved for a long time.
Apart from the Greek salad and the Cretan Dakos (or Ntakos) there are many other recipes that use raw olive oil. Generally, raw olive oil is a well-respected ingredient of the Cretan cuisine.
And one of the best raw Cretan olive oils you can use for your quick and healthy Greek recipes, like the Greek salad and the Cretan Dakos, is the extra virgin olive oil of the Psaroudakis family.
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