Monday, March 11, 2013

For the Love of Tahini

I recently rekindled my love of tahini paste. Made from ground sesame seeds, tahini is rich in complex B vitamins, minerals (particularly, calcium and magnesium), essential fatty acids, and even packs some protein. Yes, it is high in fat, but the good kind! And it's fat content satisfies the "creaminess" craving that I frequently look to dairy for.

Use this tahini dressing on salads, in wraps or as a sandwich spread. And when I say salads, I don't just mean the standard tossed variety. Try it on a grain-based salad or even on sautéed (and cooled) greens topped with toasted sesame seeds for a spin on Gomae.

You can also add a DIY twist for kids and have them build their own salad kabobs with tahini dressing for dipping. Because everything is more fun if you put it on a stick! Make the "building blocks" as colorful as possible, with romaine lettuce or spinach, cherry tomatoes, carrots and yellow bell peppers.

Tahini Dressing

1/2 cup tahini paste
Juice from 2 lemons (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup water
2 T olive oil
2 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk until ingredients are well combined and dressing is smooth. Season to taste with additional salt if needed. Can be made ahead and stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Enjoy!

Makes about 1 cup

What kids can do (with appropriate tools and adult supervision)
*Mince garlic (wavy choppers and similar tools make mincing easier for kids without risking fingertips)
*Juice lemons
*Measure out ingredients
*Whisk dressing
*Taste for seasoning

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