Lemon Tahini Dressing with Vegetables
Even if you’ve never purchased a jar of tahini, I imagine you’ve probably eaten it, although you may not have known it. Tahini is a core ingredient in that most popular of Middle Eastern dips: hummus. The taste, when spooned straight up, hints mildly of peanut butter, though it’s thinner in texture and is notably high in calcium (which is part of what makes it popular among vegans, whose milk-abstaining habits leave room for bone-building foods).
Tahini is made of sesame seeds that have been pulverized into a thin paste and blended with oil. It shows up in cuisines from the Mediterranean to North Africa and throughout the Middle East. And while I’ll eat it drizzled on toast with honey (and, yes, stirred into hummus), whisking it into a dressing to swirl over vegetables is one of the best ways I know to enjoy it.
Much like I’m hard pressed to think of a vegetable that doesn’t brighten under cover of tangy buttermilk dressing, I’m at a loss for what won’t be made just a little bit better with Lemon Tahini Dressing. My favorite is to roast a big pan of root vegetables (sweet potatoes, radishes, fennel, onions, potatoes, carrots), add a cup of cooked chick peas for the last five minutes of roasting, and serve it warm with the dressing spooned over the top. An excellent meatless main.
Once you decide to stock your fridge with tahini, this Chicken Souvlaki with Tahini Sauce or Tahini Roasted Cauliflower from Cooking Light might be the logical next step for experimenting in the kitchen.