Lemon-tahini dressing is nothing new under the plant-based sun- it’s been something of a vegan food cliche for years. It’s my all-time favorite salad dressing, but I really don’t like a lot of recipes for it that are on the internet. You have to get a very specific balance of flavors here, and I’m obnoxiously picky about it.
If you use a recipe with the right ingredient proportions, this dressing is super creamy but also savory and sharp in all the right ways. It’s great to make salads full-flavored and satisfying without dairy or eggs.
This dressing is based off of tahina sauce, which comes from Arabic culinary traditions. Tahina sauce is a little thinner, has some ingredient differences and can be served warm, and it’s delicious if you need a sauce to cook a hearty entree in (for a good tahina sauce recipe, check out the incredible Gaza Kitchen cookbook by Leila El-Haddad.) This dressing, on the other hand, can’t be served warm (though unfortunately I’ve seen restaurants try), but is better for fresh salads. Like traditional tahina sauce, you can absolutely serve this on falafel.
Yield: roughly 1 cup of dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste- found most affordably at Trader Joe’s)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (roughly one large lemon)
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 5 tsp tamari or soy sauce
- 4 tsp red wine vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp agave or sweetener of choice (but for the love of god not stevia)
- 1 Tbsp water
1. Blend all ingredients
Note that you may need to add more water after refrigerating this or after letting it sit out, as it tends to thicken.
My favorite salad combo to serve this with, besides falafel salad:
- Mixed greens (plus some arugula if you have it)
- Sunflower Seeds
- Kidney beans and/or roasted chickpeas
- Chopped red onion
- Sliced carrot
- Sliced cucumber
- Sprouts (if you have them)