Tahini lemon sauce has a way of taking over my whole life. Whenever I’m throwing together a last minute weeknight dinner, it finds its way onto the plate. Whenever I’m planning a meal for friends, it finds its way onto the menu. Its balance of earthiness and acidity is always a welcome addition, but it seems to have a mind of its own, and I wouldn’t be surprised to wake up sleep-eating a whole jar of the stuff.
So couple weeks ago, when I was working on a simple little post about this seemingly innocuous sauce, I probably should have predicted that it would snowball out of control. What started out as a simple post about this wonderful sauce’s versatility has become two whole weeks of blog posts. So I hope you like tahini lemon sauce! Because there’s about to be a lot of it. But honestly, even if you don’t, I hope you’ll stick around and allow me to try to convince you that no plate should be without it.
Every few days, I’ll post a new tahini sauce variation, as well as my favorite way to use it and several delicious serving suggestions. For these next few posts, I’m mostly keeping things simple with the kinds of dishes you probably already know how to make. So these recipes are going to read more as lists of prepped ingredients, rather than the usual carefully described steps and measurements. My hope is that this will allow for more improvisation, and less time spent getting dinner on the table.
So to kick things off, I’m starting with tahini date salad dressing. I don’t remember the last time I made a dressing that wasn’t this one, and it’s particularly perfect this time of year, when everyone starts throwing a ton of delicious summer fruit into the salad bowl. The addition of date syrup wonderfully highlights sweet summer produce, while the tahini and lemon keeps it from becoming cloying.
tahini date salad dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons date syrup (or 1 1/2 tablespoons honey)
Whisk everything together until it smooths out and emulsifies.
spinach salad with tahini date dressing
Toss together baby spinach, pitted halved cherries, halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumbers, whole almonds, and ground pistachios, and drizzle with tahini date salad dressing. This makes a delicious side salad, but throwing in some chickpeas and serving with a crusty loaf of bread brings it well into vegan main territory. You can even add your favorite cheese for some extra richness (big parmesan shavings or a few blue cheese crumbles go really well).
more serving inspiration
- Dress your favorite summer salad, whenever a little bit of sweetness and earthiness is called for.
- Dress your favorite fruit salad, especially one with figs, grapes, and/or blackberries.
- Use it just about anywhere you’d use honey mustard dressing (chicken fingers anyone?).
- Leave out the water and lemon, cut back on the salt, and spread it on some toast with banana slices.
- Drizzle a little on roast veggies, especially eggplant. The sweetness brings out the caramelized flavors from roasting.