Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lebanese Chopped Salad With Tahini Dressing

Winter is behind us and Boston has turned green. Lilacs are blooming. On the river path, the air smells like moss and honeysuckle. My beagle's nose twitches as she catches all the fresh scents. Seagulls are squawking. Summer is coming soon.

This is my go-to summertime salad recipe. It's easy, refreshing, crunchy and delicious. The tahini dressing is a no-brainer. There are two options for the dressing (vegan or vegetarian). If you're feeling tired after a long day, you can skip the dressing completely and just toss the chopped veggies with olive oil and lime juice.

Fresh lime juice and lots of seasonal vegetables make it a hit. My Lebanese father made a variation of this salad with red onions instead of scallions. It was his favorite. For a long time, we lived in an Italian neighborhood. He served the salad alongside crusty Italian bread and fresh mozzarella for a quick and tasty summer supper.

I add a diced avocado, basil and a chili pepper for extra flavor. Sometimes I throw in some baby spinach and nicoise olives too. It's good with a few chickpeas tossed in for protein. Feta is also welcome here. It's a versatile salad that pairs perfectly with pita bread, fish or chicken. Visit your backyard garden or your local farmstand, for sun-ripened tomatoes and cukes, and enjoy this healthy recipe.    

Lebanese Chopped Salad With 

Creamy Tahini Dressing 

Serves 2-3

Some Notes & Tips

Small (or mini) cucumbers are best in this recipe.

If you'd like to make a lovely vegetarian dinner, whip up the salad, and prepare my Ultra Creamy Hummus or Chickpea & Zucchini Fritters. To view all my healthy vegetarian recipes click on the Recipe Index 

If your brand of tahini is very thick, use more olive oil when making the vegan dressing or stir in some water.  

Removing the seeds and veins from a chili pepper will reduce the heat.

Ingredients For The Vegan Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup of well stirred tahini paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt to taste. I use fine sea salt. 

Ingredients For The Tahini-Cream Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons of well stirred tahini paste
  • 4 tablespoons of plain yogurt. I use Fage Greek Yogurt.
  • 1-2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons of water 
  • Tiny drizzle of honey (optional)
  • Salt to taste. I use sea salt.    

Ingredients For The Chopped Salad

  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 3 small cucumbers, diced. I use diva or Persian cucumbers.   
  • 3 scallions or half of a small red onion, diced
  • 1-2 limes or lemons
  • 1 avocado, diced (optional but so good)
  • 1 small chili pepper, diced. I use a red fresno chili. (optional)
  • A handful of fresh basil or mint. I like Thai basil. (optional)
  • Salt to taste. I use fine sea salt.  


Make the vegan dressing by stirring the olive oil and tahini together in a small bowl. Salt to taste.
Make the tahini cream dressing by combining the tahini, yogurt, tiny drizzle of honey, olive oil and water. Mix until it's smooth and salt to taste. Set aside.

Add the tomato, cucumbers, scallions, avocado and chili pepper to a large bowl. Stir in the dressing of your choice, a few very good squeezes of lime juice and the fresh basil leaves. Salt to taste. Toss again. Serve and enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

No comments:

Post a Comment