Tired of your go-to Italian vinaigrette? Wish your husband would lay off the high-fat Caesar dressing? Making a simple, homemade salad dressing to elevate your greens is so much easier than you think. Chef Jason Fullilove has a simple salad dressing that’s one-of-a-kind, (or, as he calls it, “funky”) and you’ll definitely want to make it again and again.
The surprising ingredient? Tahini. This nutty spread is made from ground sesame seeds. You most commonly find it in Mediterranean restaurants as a condiment for falafel or shawarma, or perhaps you’ve noticed it on the ingredients list of your favorite hummus. (It looks like a paler, thinner version of peanut butter.)
The tahini acts as an emulsifier in this healthy salad dressing. This means the creamy tahini helps the acid (lemon juice) blend with the oil (coconut) so they don’t separate. These three components form the base of the vinaigrette (learn more ways to make a vinaigrette here).
Because coconut oil is thicker than most oils, you’ll add water to keep the homemade vinaigrette light and pourable. For an extra burst of fresh flavor, Chef Fullilove adds a couple of fresh herbs: basil and cilantro.
Thanks to the healthy fats and creaminess of the tahini, this dressing is an excellent way to cut the bitterness of hearty greens like kale or chard. The warm, nutty flavor also works well for fall-themed salads, so try it on a kale salad with pear slices, pomegranate arils, and toasted pecans. (Here’s how to deseed a pomegranate like a pro.)