If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I have a new salad obsession lately.
I don’t know about you, but I usually go through phases where I want the same salad every single day for a week or two straight, and then I finally get bored with it and move on to something new. A good salad dressing is KEY for me to enjoying salads, so I usually do a rotation of the Everyday Basil Vinaigrette from my cookbook (my all-time most favorite salad dressing ever), followed by my Raw Apple Cider Vinaigrette, and now THIS is the latest dressing in my rotation.
It all started with my recent trip to Berkeley, where an awesome team of people spent two weeks shooting the photos for my new cookbook. (So exciting!) While everyone munches on the recipes we shoot throughout the day, there’s not always enough sample food to feed everyone on set, so my editor offered to pick up some amazing salads from SweetGreen for lunch, too. I ordered their “Hummus Tahina” salad, and it turned out to be one of the most filling and satisfying salads ever.
The base of this particular salad is a combination of crunchy romaine and sturdy chopped kale, topped with local feta, tomato, red onions, cucumbers, hummus, falafel, and a creamy cucumber tahini yogurt dressing. If found the falafel to be totally unnecessary in the dish, so when I recreated it at home, I left that out and focused on creating my own version of their delicious cucumber tahini dressing. It totally makes the salad! I even added some cumin– a signature seasoning in hummus– so that you wouldn’t have to add the extra hummus to your salad, in case you don’t have the time or energy to make an extra dip. All of the flavor is there in this one dressing, so there’s no need to do the extra work if you don’t want to.
I’m sure this dressing would be delicious over any number of salad combinations, but I’ve stuck pretty closely to the formula that SweetGreen used– a combination of local red leaf lettuce and shredded kale, topped with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, spicy radishes, and a sprinkle of sheep feta for added creaminess and saltiness. (Though you can easily leave out the cheese for a vegan version.) I hope you enjoy it as much, and as often, as I do!
Creamy Cucumber Tahini Dressing (Vegan)
Makes about 1 cup
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 tablespoons raw tahini (no added oil)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped cucumbers (about 4 ounces)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons water
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Adjust any seasoning to taste, and then chill until ready to serve. Like most dressings, the flavor gets even better the longer it sits, and it also thickens a bit. (Feel free to add a splash of water if you need to thin it out later.)
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Creamy Cucumber Tahini Salad Dressing (Vegan)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons raw tahini (no added oil)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped cucumbers (about 4 ounces)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons water
- Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Adjust any seasoning to taste, and then chill until ready to serve. Like most dressings, the flavor gets even better the longer it sits, and it also thickens a bit. (Feel free to add a splash of water if you need to thin it out later.)
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
What I also love about this dressing is that it is oil-free as long as you use a raw tahini that has no added oil. Be sure to read the label! The brands I buy (like this one or this one) only have one ingredient on the label: hulled raw sesame seeds. You can also make your own raw tahini by simply using the same method I use for making raw almond butter. Just make sure you use hulled sesame seeds (like this brand), as the un-hulled version is super-duper-bitter and almost inedible. (Learn from my mistakes! Yuck.)
Reader Feedback: Do you go through salad rotations, too? What’s your favorite right now?