Have you ever eaten tahini? Even if you think you haven’t…you probably have. Tahini is the paste of ground up sesame seeds and it is traditionally a key ingredient in hummus. Almost like a nut-butter, tahini is creamy, smooth and very nutritious, being pretty high in calcium and iron as well as protein and fiber…and fat. Whatever! Tahini is not perfect.
In any case, when life gets busy and you just don’t have the time or energy to be in the kitchen for too long, you can throw some chopped up vegetables into a bowl, dress them with this tahini salad dressing, and call it a day. During periods of lent, this salad dressing is particularly handy because it is not only vegan, but it also does not contain any additional oil (the sesame seed paste will produce it’s own oil when crushed up however).
Once you have opened your container of tahini for the first time, store the remainder in the refrigerator to keep it from going rancid. As with natural nut butters, when the tahini is cold it will be difficult to mix (sometimes the oil in the tahini will separate from the solids). If that happens simply set it on the counter for a few minutes so that you can mix it easily.
If you taste tahini alone it may be a little bit bitter; it is certainly not sweet like many nut butters. When you combine the ingredients in the dressing below however, you will find that the flavours balance out. If the dressing is still too bitter for your liking, add a little more salt (salt will counteract bitterness…science) or, alternatively, add some honey or agave nectar to taste.
In the recipe below there is no oil added. You can however choose to replace 1/2 of the water with Greek olive oil; therefore you would use 1/4 cup water + 1/4 cup Greek olive oil.
This dressing is great drizzled on a green salad, but is equally delicious mixed into a bean salad, potato salad or even poured on top of grilled vegetables.
Mia Kouppa: Tahini Salad dressing
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon Greek oregano
- Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl and set aside for approximately 15 minutes so that the flavours can blend.
- Use the tahini dressing in green salads, bean salads, or even roasted vegetables.
- The dressing will keep, well covered, for several weeks in refrigerator. You may need to re-whisk it prior to using if it has been left untouched for a while. Enjoy.