Sunday, July 17, 2011

Magic Dressing

I'm taking a quick break from the thyme treats to share this amazing salad with you. It's looks kinda plain but it's the magical dressing that really makes this salad come to life. It's tahini!!

You're probably not a stranger to cooking tahini. I'm not either, but I've never made salad dressing with it. But I should have! Oh I should have. In fact, just the other day, I was at a wonderful restaurant with my sister called Fresh, where they have this beautiful bowl of goodness that's just called "Simple" on the menu. It consists of brown rice, grated carrots, micro greens, lots of parsley and a delicious, creamy tahini-tamari dressing. I thought of this dressing when I went to make a salad and wanted something interesting to put on it. Kickpleat, of Everybody Likes Sandwiches, one of my favourite blogs, makes tahini dressing all the time. She puts it on millet, coleslaw and even butternut squash. So I thought, why not? Let's do it. I simplified her version of the dressing -- just tahini, lemon juice, pepper and a splash of water -- and it was truly magical. Creamy, nutty, tangy. I couldn't get enough. And I picture this dressing over every salad: chickpeas, simple cucumber and tomato, even as a dipping sauce for this roasted cauliflower.

But it was just perfect on a simple mixed salad of blanched kale, fresh Ontario spring mix greens (courtesy of my sister's CSA) and some stray leftover quinoa and lentils. Like I said, you could add anything. The big tahini boost and lentils were enough to give me a healthy protein dose, but chickpeas would be a lovely addition, as would tofu cubes, or even a good sprinkling of pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

Tahini hasn't really been a staple in my fridge, but now it definitely will be. Happy salad days!

Simple Salad with Tahini Dressing
inspired by Everybody Likes Sandwiches serves two

half a bunch of kale, stems removed
2 cups of mixed salad greens
1/2 cup of cooked grains of your choice
extras like tofu, chickpeas, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, roasted almonds....

2 tablespoons of tahini
juice of half a lemon
a good grinding of black pepper
2 tablespoons of water

1. Blanch the kale in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until cooked but still bright green. Drain, pat dry and divide between two bowls.

2. Put 1 cup of salad greens in each bowl, and top of the grains and extras.

3. To make the dressing, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, black pepper and water vigorously until blended. You may need to add more lemon or water if the dressing is still too thick. It should be creamy but pourable.

4. Pour the tahini-liciousness over your salad and give it a good mix. Enjoy!

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