salad dressings

tahini sauce (tehina Shir style)

8th October 2021

Preparing tahini in this way brings back memories of Israel. We lived in Israel for 14 years, and both of my children were born there.

My favourite part of the week was/and is Friday Night, which we call Erev Shabat in Hebrew. Stores would close early, and people would make their way home. Leaving the streets quiet. There would always be good smells coming from the neighbour’s houses. On Friday night, no one would dine alone, and everyone’s house was open to an unexpected guest. In yogic philosophy, our teacher Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois has explained that the unexpected guest is the best of all guests you can serve and honour with food.

It was a special time for family members to come together after a busy working week. Challah would be bought, candles lit and blessed, and usually, a bowl of tahini would be on the table!

tahini sauce (tehina shir style)

Inspired by Shir.

ingredients

½ cup/115g tahini  (I prefer the hulled traditional tahini)

2 Tbsp/25g lemon juice

¼ tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp honey – optional

¾ cup/150g water

to garnish

1 large tomato, grated 

sweet paprika

olive oil

parsley

preparation

1.  In a small bowl combine the tahini, lemon juice, salt and honey.  Slowly whisk through the water until you have a consistency that is pourable, adding extra water if you need. 

2.  Taste, add lemon or salt if needed.

3. Cut the tomato in half, and grate each half on a medium grater directly into the tahini. Grate until all the pulp and juices are out and you’re just left with the peel, which you discard.

4. Garnish with paprika, parsley and drizzle with olive oil.

Serve the tehina with a crunchy rice pilaf or your favourite salad, steamed or roasted vegetables, or as a dip.

 

easy basil dressing

6th August 2021

I printed this recipe in 2017 when I came across it in the Globe and Mail published by Tara O’brady and have been making all sorts of variations since. Using fewer tomatoes or none at all, and adding bitter green leaves, or cutting the zucchinis into thick slabs and grilling until slightly charred, rather than eating raw. The dressing I keep the same as it is a gem! However, keeping in mind if the garden is overgrown with dill, coriander, mint or similar soft herbs, they can be added into the dressing as well or instead.

I always like to make my salads with beautiful seasonal greens, herbs and edible flowers picked straight from the garden. Different lettuces impart different flavours, and the best salads mix up two or three. Because this dressing is lively, it is better to pair it with hardier and spicy greens; like arugula, rocket, mizuna, endive or baby kale. 

easy basil dressing 

serves 2 – 3

for the dressing

¾ cup/30g basil leaves

¼ cup/10g flat-leafed parsley

juice from half a lemon – approx 2 Tbsp

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 – 2 Tbsp honey or sugar

3 Tbsp olive oil

pinch dried chilli flakes

for the salad

2 slices rustic French bread, torn into pieces

2 Tbsp/20g olive oil, plus more as needed

salt and freshly ground black pepper

half lemon, preferably organic, well scrubbed

3 – 4 handful of washed green leaves – arugula, rocket, little gem, mizuna, etc (try to combine a variety of different leaves while balancing the more bitter ones with crisp and tender leaves.)

1 small/120g zucchini, sliced into thin rounds (the small zucchinis have the best flavour)

3 Tbsp toasted, roughly chopped pinenuts and pumpkin seeds

preparation

1. Make the dressing by squeezing the juice of half the lemon into a small blender. Add the basil and parsley, then add a splash of vinegar, sugar and olive oil—season with salt and pepper, then puree. Taste, adjust seasoning and balance with more oil or vinegar as called for, and sweeten with sugar or honey if it’s too sharp. Run the machine again, then add a pinch of chilli flakes.

for the salad

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.

2. Toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of olive oil—season with salt and pepper. Scatter pieces on a small baking sheet.

3. Slice the half lemon into thin rounds, removing any seeds; if you have a mandoline (or patience), slice about 3-mm thick (1/8-inch.) Coat lightly with olive oil and arrange on another small baking pan. 

4. Place both baking pans in the hot oven. Toast the bread until golden and crisp, 15 – 20 minutes, tossing once. Roast the lemon until touched with char and deeply caramelized, 12 – 15 minutes. 

5. Arrange the salad, place the leaves and zucchini, followed by the croutons, roasted lemon slices and seeds. Top with dressing, offering more at the table.

an exceptional zingy-ginger-sweet-lemon dressing

15th November 2020

This is a dressing I make a lot. It has a fresh, light cleansing quality to it. My favourite way of using it is poured over a vibrant beetroot and carrot salad (see below) which is a simplified version of this salad. It has become a ‘goodnessis’ signature dish when served alongside coriander leaf vanghi bath, vegetable bath, or this whole moong dal. The combinations and flavours complement each other.

I am always up early, to enjoy the quiet of the house and the stillness of the garden.

Each morning the mist materializes, holding us in until midday, it clears and reappears at the end of the day; then repeats itself the next day- shifting our perception from one moment to the next.

an exceptional-zingy-ginger-sweet-lemon dressing

ingredients

2 Tbsp/20g grated ginger

3 Tbsp/30g olive oil

3 Tbsp/50g agave or honey

¼ cup/52g lemon juice

¼ tsp fine rock salt

preparation

1. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small jug with a fork.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes for the flavours to develop.

My favourite way of serving it is to peel equal amounts of beetroot and carrots (depending on the number of people), then using a mandoline, grate the beetroot, then the carrots into a salad bowl. Do not mix just yet. Sprinkle over a generous amount of toasted sesame seeds. When ready to serve, pour the desired amount of dressing over the salad and gently lift to mix the colours and distribute the dressing.

The key to the success of this salad is the right size shavings. Don’t be tempted into using a hand grater as it will produce a sloppier mix that loses its appeal.  Use a mandolin if you have, alternatively you can use the largest grate in the food processor or a knife and cut very, very thin matchstick gratings.

~

Caesar dressing & a quick Caesar wedge salad

5th July 2020

I love a creamy dressing and using a greek style yoghurt achieves that creaminess. If using a plant-based yoghurt, find one that is thick and especially rich.  The sauce lasts for a week in the fridge and can be used as a dip for crunchy cucumbers or vegetable fries, spread over bread, drizzled over salads or roasted vegetables.

It’s in the quietness, the calm, the release and only then I realise how much I was holding…

caesar dressing

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Preparation 5 minutes

Recipes adapted from here.

ingredients

½ cup/85g full-fat greek yoghurt or plant-based yoghurt

¼ cup/50g olive oil

3 Tbsp/38g lemon juice

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (can use grated parmesan)

¼ tsp tamari

½ – 1 tsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp/15g liquid sweetener – honey, agave, maple syrup (optional)

¼ tsp fine rock salt

preparation

1. In a food processor or immersion blender, combine the yoghurt, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, tamari, dijon mustard, sweetener and salt. Blend; until everything is combined and dressing is smooth and creamy.

2. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, taste and adjust the seasonings. Store the dressing in a lidded jar in the refrigerator.

quick & easy caesar wedge salad

Serves 3

Preparation 5 minutes

ingredients

6 small heads romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut in half, then half again lengthwise

1 serving caesar dressing (above)

extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1 cup croutons*

2 Tbsp pinenuts, toasted and roughly chopped

preparation

1.  Arrange the lettuce wedges on a medium plate, then sprinkle with pinenuts and croutons, drizzle the wedges with caesar dressing and olive oil.

2. Season with a few rounds of salt and pepper.

*stove-top croutons, heat 2 Tbsp oil or ghee in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering, add the bread cubes, sprinkle with salt, toss to coat, arrange in a single layer. Toss every minute or so, until golden on all sides – approx 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. 

variation

  • add ¼ cup parmesan flakes, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • optional addition; avocado, grilled zucchini slivers

Amy Chaplin’s easy pine nut sauce

11th April 2020

Don’t be deceived by the unassuming appearance of this sauce, it is delicious! I have replaced our weekly pesto sauce with this one.  It is quick, easy and any leftovers make a delicious salad dressing. Serve with homemade pasta, skillet roasted tomatoes and steamed greens.

~ sunlight and water drops~

easy pine nut sauce

Recipe from ‘Whole Food Cooking Every Day’ by Amy Chaplin.

Makes 1 cup. 

Serves 3 – 4

ingredients

1 cup/120g raw pine nuts

6 Tbsp/65g olive oil

2 Tbsp/25g freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp fine rock salt

to serve

½-portion homemade pasta

skillet charred tomato (see below)

steamed or sauteed greens

grated parmesan or pine nut parmesan

preparation

1.  Warm a skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Toss in the pine nuts, reduce heat to low, and toast, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until fragrant and golden.

2.  Transfer to a mortar and pestle or mini food processor and add the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.

3.  Use a pestle to crush the nuts and grind until a paste forms. Or, if you’re using a mini food processor, blend until smooth, scrape down the sides, and blend again.  Use immediately, or store the sauce in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week. Optional to garnish with lemon zest.

note

  • Any leftovers can be used as a salad dressing the next day. When using as a salad dressing add a little honey and dilute with more olive oil and lemon.

to serve

skillet charred cherry tomatoes

Serves 2

Preparation 7 minutes

ingredients

2 Tbsp olive or peanut oil

350g small cherry tomatoes

1 red bell pepper/135g, roughly chopped (optional)

One 5-cm sprig rosemary – leaves removed

½ tsp red chilli pepper flakes

preparation

1.   Place a medium skillet or wok over high heat, add oil, whole cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, and rosemary leaves, toss to coat in the oil. It is important to use a larger skillet to allow space for the tomatoes to cook without losing their shape. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

2.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until charred in parts – don’t cook for too long, otherwise, the tomatoes will turn mushy.

3.  Remove from heat, stir in salt and chilli flakes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serve with your favourite pasta!

zesty turmeric tahini dressing

2nd March 2020

I like to serve this sauce over sauteed broccolini or roasted vegetables. Any leftovers gets drizzled over leafy green salads or scooped up with home-made bread.

~Kasbah Bab Ourika, Atlas Mountains, Morroco~

zesty turmeric tahini dressing

Recipe from Amy Chaplin’s – Whole Food Cooking Every Day.

makes 1½ cups

preparation time – 15 minutes

ingredients

½ cup/115g tahini

½ cup/100g water

2 Tbsp/22g olive oil

2 Tbsp/25g freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ tsp fine rock salt, plus more to taste

one 4-inch(10cm)/30g piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated (2½ Tbsp)

¼ cup/60g freshly squeezed orange juice

2 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

¼ tsp cayenne pepper, plus more to taste

preparation

1.  Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

2.  Taste and adjust the salt and cayenne to taste.

The colour intensifies as it sits!

Use immediately, or store the sauce in the fridge for up to 2 – 3  days. Bring to room temperature before using and add water or orange juice to thin if needed.

note

  • If using a high-speed blender, there is no need to grated the turmeric just roughly chop. Pit the dates and add whole to the blender.
  • If you have particular runny tahini, reduce the water by half and add more as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

anne’s magical sesame-tahini-ginger dressing

18th February 2018

Our Christmas and New Year were spent up in the beautiful, snowy mountains of Boulder visiting our oldest and dearest friends. As soon as we arrived, a daily ritual was naturally established, of cooking and sharing meals together, morning and evening communed around a big table and warm fire. On these nights, Anne would arrive with a basket of organic salad greens which she would chop up and serve drizzled with this magical tahini dressing.

This dressing is special and adds a delicious splash of flavours to anything you put it on. Whenever I make it, it transports me back to those special evenings shared with like-minded friends.

 anne’s magical sesame-tahini-ginger dressing

Makes about 2 cups

I like to tear up some bitter-tasting leaves from the garden, add a sliced pear and a handful of nuts and seeds and there’s a quick salad or steam some kale leaves, greens beans or broccoli. For a more substantial meal cook up a pot of brown rice, roast some seasonal vegetables and drizzle over this dressing. It is guaranteed to add a bit of magic to any dish.

ingredients

3 Tbsp sesame seeds 

¼ cup white miso

½ cup hulled tahini

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp honey

½ a lemon zested

juice of ½ a lemon

1-inch grated ginger

2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar

½ tsp flaked dulse (optional)

¼ cup water

¼ – ½ cup olive oil

preparation

1.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, lightly toast the sesame seeds until they start popping, keep toasting for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside for the seeds to cool.

2.  In a medium jar, place the miso and tahini, stir well until pasty and incorporated, stir in the sesame oil and honey.

3.  Remove the zest from half a lemon and squeeze the lemon juice into the jar, add the grated ginger, apple cider vinegar and if using, the dulse flakes. Stir well, adding the water until the dressing comes together.

4.  Add the cooled toasted sesame seeds and pour in the olive oil, whisk until smooth and creamy.

5.  Taste and adjust the seasonings until you have a pleasing balance of fat and acid. The ideal consistency is that of pouring cream; stir in some water, or little more oil, until it runs easily off a spoon.

green herb tahini dressing

23rd August 2009

green herb tahini dressing

Adapted from Whole Food Cooking Every Day.

ingredients

½ cup/115g tahini  (I prefer the hulled lighter tahini)

½ cup/100g water

2 Tbsp/25g lemon juice

¼ tsp fine rock salt

1 cup/30g fresh parsley leaves

1 cup/30g fresh coriander leaves

½ cup/6g fresh mint leaves

preparation

1.  Combine the tahini, water, lemon juice and salt in a food processor and process until you have a consistency that is pourable, adding extra water if you need.

2.  Add the parsley, coriander and mint and process again until the herbs are broken done. Taste, add lemon or salt if needed.

Lovely served with this salad and oven-baked crunchy pita’s, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with za´atar.

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