Posted by: Hil | November 4, 2010

Sesame Salads

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I am back!  I have lots of recipe ideas to share, but I thought I would start with two of my current favorite main dish salads that show off two different sides of the delicious, versatile, sesame seed.  I love roasted sesame seeds and put them in everything—you can find them pre-roasted and very cheap in Asian markets or in the Asian foods section of normal grocery stores.

Up first, we have a tofu and tomato salad—I know it sounds weird, but it is DELICIOUS.  Think of it as an Asian-fusion take on a caprese salad.  I got the idea from an Alice Waters cookbook that I was browsing through at the bookstore.  I didn’t buy the cookbook, but I couldn’t stop thinking about this recipe, so I did my best to recreate it at home.  It was different, but really good.

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • olive oil
  • sherry vinegar
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • agave nectar or honey
  • siracha hot sauce (optional)

I always eyeball these ingredients, but I start by combining olive oil and sherry vinegar to make a basic vinaigrette, then add just enough of the other ingredients to add flavor. 

Ingredients for the salad: 

  • A block of extra firm tofu, drained
  • Roasted sesame seeds
  • Cut up tomato (I like halved cherry or grape tomatoes best)
  • Some combination of basil, scallions, and cilantro

I usually use one half block of tofu per person for this salad.  First, slice the block in half so that you have two squares that are half as tall as the original.  Then, cut each square into four smaller squares and arrange them on the plate.  Sprinkle the tomato, sesame seeds, and herbs decoratively across the top, the add the dressing.  Enjoy!

Up next, we have a classic spinach and apple salad with sweet and spicy sesame dressing.  This salad has a very pleasing array of tastes and textures:  you get sweet, salty, spicy, creamy and crunchy all in one bite.  And because I always have these ingredients in my house, it’s a great fallback meal.

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Ingredients for the dressing:

  • tahini (sesame paste)
  • honey or agave nectar
  • warm water
  • salt
  • cayenne pepper

First, combine the tahini and honey to taste—the ratio will depend on how sweet you like your salad.  Next, gradually mix in a little bit of warm water until the dressing is a pourable consistency.   Season with salt and add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Ingredients for the salad:

  • Baby spinach
  • Any crisp, sweet apple, cut up into bite-sized pieces
  • Roasted sesame seeds

Combine ingredients, pour dressing on top, and enjoy!

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Responses

  1. Mmmmm! It looks really lovely.

  2. The spinach one is my fave, I’m always craving for more, a dash of soy sauce is my secret ;)


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