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This colorful, crunchy salad gets a nutty boost from tahini dressing

Green Tahini Salad

September 11, 2018 at 2:00 PM

(Photos by Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; Food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Overview Ingredients Steps


Here’s an easy bowlful of color and crunch, dressed in a nutty and versatile sauce that you may want to double just so you can keep it on hand. It’s a vegan salad that makes you want to take just one more bite, and then another … heck, even if you polished it off yourself, that would not be the worst thing in the world.

Cashews add a little extra something; you could also add shredded, cooked chicken (rotisserie) or cooked beans or half a can of oil-packed/drained tuna or cooked/shaped pasta.

Small fennel bulbs are now at the market. They look flat and fit in the palm of your hand; this is what you want to use in this recipe. You can freeze the stalks and fronds for making vegetable broth.

Related: [Stock your kitchen with the Dinner in Minutes Pantry for stress-free weeknight cooking]

We also liked this salad with fruit in it — sweet, tart, crisp, green seedless grapes, each cut in half. They’re not in the Dinner in Minutes Pantry, but we figure you might have them on hand, especially if there are kids in the house. If that’s the case, toss in a cup’s worth, making sure they get coated with the dressing as well.

Serve with toasted or warmed crusty bread or pita. You may have some dressing left over, which can refrigerated for up to four days.



1 medium clove garlic

Leaves from 6 to 8 stems parsley

Leaves from 2 stems basil

2 tablespoons well-stirred/creamy tahini

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 lemon

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


2 medium carrots

1 small fennel bulb (see OVERVIEW)

1/2 medium red bell pepper

Salad greens (your choice)

Sea salt

Handful unsalted roasted cashews


Step 1

For the dressing: Smash and peel the garlic. Place in a mini food processor or blender, then add the parsley, basil, tahini and salt. Squeeze in the lemon juice.

Step 2

Chop and/or grind until the herbs are broken down, then stop to add the oil. Process for a few minutes to form a green, emulsified (kind of creamy) dressing. The yield is about 1/2 cup.

Step 3

For the salad: As you work, transfer these ingredients to a mixing bowl: Scrub the carrots and cut into matchsticks.

Step 4

Cut out the core of the fennel bulb by cutting in on either side of the round core at the root end; this will form a triangular piece that will fall away. Discard the fennel’s tough outer layer. Cut the remaining fennel crosswise into very thin slices.

Step 5

Remove the seeds and ribs from the red bell pepper, then cut the flesh into thin strips.

Step 6

Add the salad greens and a pinch of salt; toss to mix well, then pour in half the dressing. Stir or toss to coat evenly, then divide among wide, shallow bowls. Drizzle with more of the dressing, then scatter the cashews over each salad.

Step 7

Serve with the remaining green tahini (for dipping pita/bread), and toss the grapes into the salad if you like.

Adapted from “More With Less,” by Jodi Moreno (Roost Boulder, 2018).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; email questions to

Click here for a printable version of the Dinner in Minutes Pantry list.

Did you make this recipe? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram with #eatvoraciously.

For a printer-friendly and scalable version of this recipe, view it here.

The nutritional analysis is based on 3, using half the dressing.


Calories: 240; Total Fat: 21 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 320 mg; Carbohydrates: 13 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 5 g; Protein: 4 g.

Bonnie S. Benwick is The Washington Post's deputy food editor and recipe editor. Cook with her each week at Dinner in Minutes:

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