I’m not a huge fan of salad dressing… I’ll usually just use a really good balsamic vinegar with a touch of olive oil but this is such a delicious one that I had to share it with you. A nice departure from normal dressings, this one had a really savory and nutty taste that pairs incredibly with the crispness of a salad. The base for it is Tahini paste, which is essentially just ground up sesame seeds with a little bit of oil. You can probably find this at your grocery store, but I always just make it myself because it saves a lot of money and it’s so easy to do. You can use the tahini paste for a lot of things (put it on toast, eat it like hummus, etc) but with the addition of a few more ingredients this gets transformed into an even more versatile dressing. I love it with the chickpea falafels from THIS POST, on top of a piece of salmon with lemon slices, in place of the goat cheese in the Mediterranean Grain Salad from THIS POST… the possibilities are endless!
I always make a double batch of this (2 cups finished), but if you want a smaller amount this recipe can easily be halved to make a one cup batch. You’re going to need one cup tahini and you can either use pre-made or make your own, which I suggest. Put some sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat (1). I use about two cups sesame seeds because I use 1 cup of the tahini to make the dressing and keep the rest to use as a paste for toast, dips, etc. Toast until golden brown (2) watching and stirring carefully because they can burn easily. This step is important because you’re bringing out the oils which will translate to a really nutty flavor once they’re ground up. Transfer the toasted seeds to a mini food processor, add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Pulse until you’re left with a smooth paste (I make it a little looser because I know I’m using it in the dressing) (4). Dice up half a small white onion and sautee it in a small skillet with a couple tbsp water over medium high heat until softened (5) about 4 minutes. Transfer the softened onion to a blender along with 1 cup of the tahini dressing, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried oregano and 1/2 cup water (6). Blend until smooth and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator, being sure to shake it up before using as the oil will settle on the top!