I first made this tahini dressing for a salad I contributed to a potluck lunch hosted by a friend. I was living and working on the south coast at the time, in a small town not far from Brighton. The friend who was hosting the lunch was a ‘healthy’ eater. Today, read ‘clean’ instead of ‘healthy’, so no dirty food. So, my contribution was a simple salad – mixed leaves, goji berries and toasted hazelnuts. Can’t go wrong with that. I made the dressing and put it in a bowl for the other guests to drizzle as much or as little as they wanted.
The response at the table was confusion. I think to start with, the tahini coloured dressing threw people expecting the usual oil and vinegar. There were subtle dips into the bowl with a teaspoon and a quick taste on the tip of the tongue. And then confusion. Little light drizzles over one side of the plate and appreciative noises for the salad. I appreciate that this isn’t the most persuasive introduction to a recipe, but I love this dressing. I’ve made it since then for other people who have loved it. And you might too.
There is a beautiful nuttiness from the tahini, which could be too heavy, but the juice from the Blood Orange lightens it beautifully and the pomegranate molasses provides depth and tang cutting across the subtle sweet note from the honey. It would also work well with a fruit salad. You could increase the hit of honey.
Blood Oranges are at their height right now and this salad is simple, quick to make and very refreshing. It’s perfect as we’re coming towards the end of winter and ready for less heavy food with the approach of spring.
A handful of mixed salad leaves
2 Blood Oranges, peeled and sliced
1 raw beetroot, sliced into matchsticks
For the dressing
1 tblsp tahini
Juice of one Blood Orange
1 tsp honey
2 tsp pomegranate molasses
Split the salad leaves and beetroot sticks between two bowls and arrange the orange slices on top.
Shake the dressing ingredients together in a jar, adding or reducing the amount of each ingredient according to your palate. Season and drizzle over the salad.