This lemon-tahini dressing is one of THE most versatile toppings known to foodies. I first came across it in The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon. It is a staple in my kitchen, so much so that I whip up a 500 mL recipe each week on the same day that I do my meal planning.
Typically served cold as a raw vegetable salad dressing, it can also be used in warm dishes like stir-frys or drizzled on roasted vegetable medleys and whole grain one-pot concoctions.
- small spoon
- garlic press
- 1/2 cup measurer
- lemon squeezer
- blender or food processor
- storage container
- compost or garbage bin
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (or the juice of two whole lemons)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil (extra-virgin olive oil and/or sesame oil)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2-3 tablespoons of water (as needed to thin dressing)
THE HOW TO:
This recipe is essentially fool-proof and you can really just add in all the above ingredients to your blender or food process and press GO. However, putting a little bit of thought into the sequence of ingredients can make measuring, clean up and blending a bit easier, especially if, like me, you are using a single-serve type blender that has a 2-in-1 blending and storage container.
First, squeeze in your two lemons. Then proceed with adding in your salt and nutritional yeast. I like to add the nutritional yeast before the oil so that I don't have to dirty two tablespoons - otherwise your yeast flakes will stick to the oily utensil, and nobody wants that!
I like to use a combination of extra-virgin olive oil and sesame oil because they both have such distinct flavour profiles. Sesame oil has more of a nutty-umami flavour and olive oil is a bit more fresh and fruity.
Then just need to drop in the garlic - either pressed or whole, depending on how good your blender is. I personally press mine first to make sure I don't end up chewing on a lump of fresh garlic (my breath thanks me). And finally the all-important tahini on top. Try to avoid putting in the tahini first because it sticks to the bottom of the blender, making it difficult and super frustrating to blend.
Now to simply blend until smooth, adding 2-3 tablespoons of water as needed to thin it out and make it easier on your machine. How much water you add is a personal preference - you can make this recipe quite thick or thin it out to varying degrees.
Store your dressing in an air tight container in the fridge. I don't know how long it will keep for because it only lasts 3 or 4 days MAX in this house! A week or so should be totally fine though.
THE DIETITIAN REVIEW:
Tahini isn't a super well known ingredient to the everyday cook - but it should be. It is a paste made from sesame seeds that ends up having the same consistency as natural peanut butter. It has a nutty, creamy flavour and is a star player in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. It is probably most well-known as an ingredient in hummus. Nutritionally, it packs a punch by providing 5g of protein and 3g of fibre per 30ml (2 tbsp.) serving. It is also a great source of healthy unsaturated fat, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and selenium.
Nutritional yeast is not as famous as it should be either...at least outside of vegetarian circles. It is a deactivated yeast (typically a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae) packaged as yellow flakes. It has a nutty and cheesy flavour making it an excellent substitute for sprinkled cheese and dairy-based sauces. Because it is significant source of B-complex vitamins and can be fortified with Vitamin B12, it has gained popularity with individuals following a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle who cannot meet their Vitamin B12 needs without eating animal foods.
How do you like to use your lemon-tahini dressing? Drop me a line to let me know!