Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tahini Sauce for Tomatoes and More + Cook The Books News

Sometimes a girl gets tired of just vinaigrette or lemon juice drizzled over salads and vegetables and I like to limit the amount of bottled salad dressings I buy, so this quick recipe for a creamy Tahini Sauce from Good Cooking: The New Basics by Jill Dupleix is a favorite of mine. Although tahini is not the lowest calorie food, (in fact the raw organic brand that I buy is about 95 calories for a tablespoon), but at least the calories are packed with good for you things.  Made from sesame seeds, it is a source of protein, calcium and B vitamins and is a great source of essential fatty acids and vitamin E.  Used in moderation and mixed with lemon juice, water and spices as it is here, this sauce a quick and easy way to liven up your veggies.

Tahini Tomatoes (Tahini Sauce Recipe)
Good Cooking, Jill Dupleix

In a blender, work 2 crushed garlic cloves with 1 tsp sea salt, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 3 Tbsp tahini paste, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, and 2 Tbsp water.  Add a little extra water until creamy. Drizzle this over sliced tomatoes and scatter some mint on top.

Notes/Results:  I am lucky that I can get fresh local tomatoes here this time of year so I piled them on some arugula, drizzled the tahini sauce over it and garnished with mint leaves. It is also great over spinach (hot or cold), broccoli, carrots, green beans, etc. Fast and delicious, it's like hummus without the chickpeas and has enough flavor that you don't need a lot.  

Cook The Books Reminder / News!

If you were too busy to participate in Cook The Books, (the foodie book club started by Rachel at The Crispy Cook, Johanna at Food Junkie Not Junk Food and me), for our first selection, please join us for our second book.  At Cook The Books, we read a food-related book every two months, then find or create a recipe inspired by the story. I am hosting this round and we are reading The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber.  This is a beautifully written foodie memoir about growing up within two cultures (and it has some wonderful recipes too!). You can read the details on the book and all about Cook The Books, at the CTB  website here.  The deadline for reading this book and posting your dish, inspired by the reading is February 15th.  

One of the most fun and exciting things about the Cook The Books first pick of La Cucina, by Lily Prior, was that Ms. Prior agreed to select the winning recipe that she felt captured the flavor of her novel. (The wonderful antipasto platter from Foodycat was our first winner). I am happy to announce that the warm and wonderful Diana Abu-Jaber, has agreed to take part in choosing the winner for this round!  (She does think she might need so samples for in-depth tasting though!)  ;-)

Come join us at Cook The Books for the perfect pairing of great books and great food!  We'll be starting up some discussion on The Language of Baklava on the Cook The Books site soon.


  1. How wonderful! When are you finishing the book? Do you just read it and then create a recipe that was inspired by it?

  2. Joie de vivre--great question! You have until Feb 15 to read the book and post a recipe inspired by it. (I just added more detail to my post explaining Cook The Books thanks to your question!) We also discuss the book via comments on the CTB site.

  3. this dressing sounds like a great alternative :) I love the colors of your salad too.

  4. That is such exciting news about Ms. Abu-Jaber being our new Cook the Books judge. I really liked this book pick and am thinking of all kinds of Arab recipes I'd like to explore.

  5. I love your tahini dressing, and your produce looks so fresh and verdant.
    So wonderful that you have the author herself participating in the Cook The Books judging!

  6. It had been a while since I visited the CTB site and am so glad I came across your post just now! I'd really love to particpate in this Cook the Books event.

    Your dishes look lovely.


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