Tag Archives: tahini dressing

Chickpea and Tahini Salad III (Perfect Picnic Salad)

21 Jul

I am forever putting together cold chickpea salads for the summer.

Tahini is, of course, one of my favorite condiments for this purpose. For the uninitiated, it is a sesame paste, very thick, that keeps for a long time in the fridge and is critical to Middle Eastern cuisine. A tablespoon adds a depth of flavor, a teeny bit on the bitter side, and a thickness or creaminess of texture to sauces and dressings that I like a lot. Try a basic dressing from a Mediterranean Buffet , a   version with soy sauce, or another with tomatoes and herbs. Which I guess means I should call this Chick Pea and Tahini Salad IV, but whatever!)

This time I had dill in the fridge needing to be used up so I figured I would try it. The result was fresh and good. Mint would be a terrific substitute or addition. You can really go in many directions with this one! You can mix it with rice or use it to top a green salad or just eat it right out of the mixing bowl with a spoon while standing in front of the fridge (not that I would ever do that. Uh-uh. Not me).

Light and fresh – perfect side for supper!

Chickpea and Tahini Salad III

1 Tbs lemon juice or red wine vinegar (start with half a tablespoon and increase to your taste)

1 Tbs tahini

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs dill, chopped

28oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs red onion (a quarter of a medium red onion), sliced thin

Mix or whisk lemon juice or vinegar and tahini together in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix well.


Cold Rice Noodle Salad with Creamy Tahini

17 Jun

Rice noodles are cool. They start out all stiff and fragile and white and, after just three minutes in boiling water, they turn glassy and soft and a bit sticky. I love their texture and their look, and they remind me of a beloved Filipino chicken and noodle recipe my mom used to make when we were kids, one she got from a very dear Filipino friend.

My son loves them plain; he has taken to burying the fresh peas from our garden under a pile of noodles and carrying on all sorts of conversations with pretend characters as they make their way to his mouth. I am sure there is a whole chapter in the Bad Mommy Handbook about the evils of letting kids play with their food, but I can’t bring myself to care. The last thing I want is for the dinner table– perhaps the last bastion of real family life left to us all — to become a battlefield.

So he plays with his plain rice noodles and peas (“Oh no, don’t let him find me!” says the pea. “I am going to eat you!” says the evil bad guy, played by my son) while I play around with making cool dressings for the part I want to eat.

This one was inspired by Lindsey at Makes and Takes and I modified to suit our tastes and what was available in our garden and pantry. You will note that I used Veganaise – this was a salad my dad promised to try (yes, he is still on his crazy ass diet, but he is not so militant anymore and for this Father’s Day he was downright anarchic), so I used the vegan mayonnaise as a consideration. It’s actually fine for things like this.

You’ll also notice the pea pod option. Leandro eats the peas from the garden, but not the pods (yet), so I took the pods he was emptying and added them. They are unbelievably sweet and crunchy right off the vine and fit right in with the other stuff.

Cold Rice Noodle Salad with Radish, Cucumber, Pea Pods, and Creamy Tahini Dressing


8 oz. rice noodles, prepared according to package directions and cooled.

5 small radishes, greens removed and cut into tiny matchsticks (about 2 Tbs)

¼ hothouse cucumber, cut into tiny matchsticks (about 2 Tbs)

(optional – a handful of peapods – peas removed – cut into tiny matchsticks; microgreens; toasted sesame seeds, matchstick carrots)


2 Tbs mayonnaise or Veganaise

1 tsp rice vinegar

½ tsp sugar

2 generous Tbs tahini

1-2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced fine

Sriracha or other Asian hot sauce, to taste (I did one generous squeeze)

¼ salt or to taste

Mix salad ingredients together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Add dressing to bowl mix thoroughly, adjust seasoning, and serve.

A Mediterranean Party Snack Buffet with DIY Tahini Dressing

25 Mar

The parents have returned from their winter in Puerto Rico and that gives me a chance to make things that are a pain in the neck to do up for one adult, but seem like no work at all for a lavish spread for three grown-ups and a kid who likes couscous (especially seasoned with pesto) and asparagus. Plus, make loads and leftovers are guaranteed and you know I love that!

This sudden inspiration came straight from the pantry: jarred artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers, black olives, garbanzos from a can, that type of thing. From the fridge: feta, tomatoes, cukes, asparagus.

How fun would it be to lay out mezze (Mediterranean small dishes) with a variety of salad ingredients and sit all together for a change?

So I did and it was fun and crunchy and creamy and delicious.

“Look how pretty mine came out!” said the moms, who is a bit relieved to be eating with us again (because yes, the dad is still on that cockamamie up-and-down vegan diet that I want nothing to do with – although enabler that I am, I did make him some alternative tahini dressing with no garlic, since sesame seeds — the main ingredient of tahini — grow above ground and garlic grows under…seriously? Anyway, not worth discussing; the REAL recipe below is lovely and garlicky, as God intended)

Roasted asparagus: Rinse and break off bottoms of a 1 lb. bunch of asparagus. (They break naturally at the woody part; or break off one and slice off the rest at around the same place) Smear with two teaspoons of olive oil and roast at 450 for 10 minutes (skinny spears) to 15 minutes (fat spears). Finish with flaky sea salt.

Roasted eggplant: Rinse and cut a large eggplant into one-inch chunks (for older eggplant that feels a bit soft to the touch, put in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Put a weighted bowl on top and another bowl to catch the drippings. Leave for a half hour and pat dry before the next step). Smear with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and roast at 450 for 15 minutes or until cooked through and soft, turning once with tongs.

Garbanzos (chick peas) in tahini: Rinse and drain a 28 oz can of chick peas. Add a tablespoon chopped red onion. Add two or three tablespoons of tahini dressing (below) and serve.

Tahini Dressing

3 Tbs tahini (mixed ‘till relatively smooth)

¼ Cup fresh lemon juice

1 large clove garlic, minced fine

Pinch or two of salt

Cold water to thin

1 tsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Mix all ingredients except water and salt in a bowl (deeper is better to avoid splashing) or mixing cup. Salt to taste and thin with water to desired consistency. Add chopped parsley if desired. Thin for use as salad dressing. Leave it thick to use as dip for vegetables. Leave it medium dense and creamy as a sauce  sauce for falafel.

Couscous with (prepared) pesto: prepare one half cup couscous (Israeli or fine) according to package directions. Add two tablespoons prepared basil pesto (or your favorite) and serve warm.

Additional stuff: chunks of feta, black olives, halved or quartered cherry or grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, avocado and mixed greens, as desired. Try hard-boiled eggs. A drained and flaked can of tuna would be great too, with a bit of chopped onion if you are not into the vegetarian thing.

Two-fer Tuesday: Chickpea and Tahini II and Balsamic Dressing for Tomatoes

30 Aug


Sometimes it just takes a little change to make a big difference in flavor. Here are two quickie recipes — one a salad and one a dressing for those crazy seasonal tomatoes that you no longer know what to do with  — that are variations on stuff I do regularly, but with a new ingredient that updates it, keeps it from getting stale.

In the chickpea and tahini salad, I add ginger and soy sauce to my basic tahini dressing for a slightly Asian flavor. For the dressing, I use balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar as well as a dash of agave nectar; a little sweetness harmonizes with sweet seasonal tomatoes, but also mellows out their acidity.

These can be done in a flash and will complement any summer meal or be a light dinner in themselves with some crusty bread.

Chickpea and Tahini Salad II

1 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs tahini

1 tsp soy sauce

1 28oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs red onion (a quarter of a medium red onion), sliced thin

1 Tbs cilantro

1 tsp grated ginger

Mix or whisk lemon juice, tahini and soy sauce together in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix well.

Balsamic dressing for tomatoes

1-2 Tbs Balsamic vinegar (I prefer less)

8 Tbs olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

½ tsp agave nectar

Salt to taste (start with a pinch – 1/8 tsp and work from there)

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and pour over tomatoes in whatever quantity you like. Sliced red onion goes very well. You can serve with mozzarella and basil as a caprese salad, or over pasta for a summer buffet dish, hot or cold. Dip crusty bread into the liquid….

Chickpea and Tahini Salad

8 Aug

Regular readers know my love for chickpeas. I love my Gingery Marinated Chickpeas (Greta Garbanzo https://hotcheapeasy.wordpress.com/?s=greta+garbanzo&submit=Search,) but decided it was time to freshen up my outlook.

Thus, this Chickpea and Tahini salad…perfect to accompany summer BBQ or Mediterranean buffet, an excellent side dish to just about anything, and best of all, easy! I made this a few hours ahead, and the little bit that remained made for great leftover snack lunch!

Chickpea and Tahini Salad

2 29 oz cans of garbanzos/chick peas/ceci, rinsed and drained

½ red onion, sliced thin

2 ripe tomatoes, seeds and gel removed and chopped

1 Tbs cilantro leaves (can go to two if you like) chopped fine

1 Tbs mint leaves (can add another Tbs if desired) chopped fine

4 Tbs tahini

4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced super-fine

4-6 Tbs lemon juice

2 Tbs water

Salt to taste

Place chickpeas, onion, tomato, cilantro and mint in a bowl

In a separate bowl, whisk tahini, garlic, lemon juice and water until blended

Toss dressing in salad. Salt to taste.

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