The New Veganism

Tahini Dressing, Two Ways

by • May 1, 2014 15 Comments

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Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: Meet the mother sauces of vegan cooking. 

How to Make Tahini Dressing on Food52

There’s something about the creamy texture of tahini -- coupled with its nutty, slightly bitter taste -- that makes for one killer dressing.  

And if you make it a little thicker, you can turn it into sauce. And if you make sauce, you’ll find that tahini is not only perfect for a salads and slaws, but also for warm bowls of simple, homemade fare. Some of my favorite combinations are: 

  • Sweet potato, toasted chickpeas, and steamed or sautéed kale
  • Soba noodles, steamed broccoli, grated carrots, and red cabbage
  • Brown rice, steamed greens, hijiki, black beans, and sesame seeds
  • Quinoa, raw marinated kale, and hemp seeds

How to Make Tahini Dressing

The possibilities are endless.

Today, I'm sharing two classic varieties of tahini dressing. One is inspired by Asian flavors (sesame, garlic, rice vinegar, and ginger), and the other is made with lemon and garlic. You can use either dressing for any purpose, but I like a thicker sesame tahini sauce over brown rice, and a thinner lemon tahini dressing over salads. 

Modify both dressings to suit your taste, and then think about all of the marvelous, mix-and-match bowls you can serve them over. 

Sesame Tahini Dressing

Makes 1 1/4 cups

1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

How to Make Tahini Dressing on Food52

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Makes 1 1/3 cups

1/2 cup tahini
2/3 to 3/4 cups water (as needed)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
Black pepper, to taste

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

Tags: vegan, sauce, tahini, vegetarian, rice bowls, salad, dressing, special diets

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Comments (15)


4 months ago Coulinjo

I have made both of these over and over since reading this post. Amazingly tasty -and it feeks so GOOD eating it.


about 1 year ago SeeSee

Perfect! Tastes like the dressing on the HippyBowl at Chaco Canyon in Seattle.


about 1 year ago Fogdweller

Do you have a favorite tahini to recommend? I've tried a number (all costing dear prices) with a wide range of taste and texture and haven't yet found one I prefer.


about 1 year ago Anjanee Szczupak

I can't wait to try these recipes. The asian inspired one looks especially delicious!


over 1 year ago je mange

I recently fell in love with everything tahini. I used to find the taste bitter, but now I cannot get enough. Will keep these two recipes close.


over 1 year ago Aura Diamond

I love them both. Now can someone tell me where I can get jars like those in the pic?


over 1 year ago je mange

Those are weck canning jars. You can find them on amazon for sure. But a local kitchen store probably will have them too. And they are beautiful!


over 1 year ago Nomnomnom

Thank you for posting these dressing variations. I am looking forward to making both of them!


over 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Bet they'd both be terrific on grilled vegetables, which I'll be practically living on for the next 5 months. Excellent timing. ;o)


over 1 year ago Debra Goring

OMG, these sound good!


over 1 year ago Marian Bull

They are actually the best.


over 1 year ago kitkat

You actually read my mind. I was just wishing for a good tahini dressing recipe this morning


over 1 year ago Kate Newman

How long will these keep in the fridge?


over 1 year ago Gena Hamshaw

Kate -- 5-7 days!


over 1 year ago Marian Bull

These sauces, on top of a rice bowl, are my type of comfort food. Thanks for the reminder to keep them on hand at all times!