Tahini-Dressed Zucchini and Green Bean Salad 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Weeknight Vegetarian Jun 5, 2013

This salad is all about the dressing: thick, creamy (yet vegan) and brightened by the inclusion of lemon and orange juices. The dressing is particularly good on char-grilled (or pan-fried) summer vegetables, but you could use it on a salad that included lentils, chickpeas or other legumes; farro, barley or other grains; or other season's vegetables, such as asparagus, sweet potatoes and hearty greens. Its consistency means it could also be a dip for crudites.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the dressing
  • 1/2 clove garlic, crushed with a little coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (stir the jar well first)
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • For the salad
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium zucchini (about 14 ounces total), sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 fresh small red chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • About 4 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • 4 good handfuls of salad greens
  • 12 to 18 oven-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 handful mint, finely shredded (optional)


For the dressing: Combine the crushed garlic in a medium bowl with the tahini, lemon zest and juice, orange juice, honey; season lightly with salt and a grind of black pepper; stir to form a dressing. If it seems too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time to achieve a creamy, trickling consistency. Then gently stir in the oil. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

For the salad: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the zucchini slices and cook, tossing them occasionally, for a few minutes until tender and browned on both sides, transferring them to a mixing bowl.

Once the zucchini is all cooked, season it generously with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and chili pepper, and toss to incorporate.

Fill a bowl with cool water and a few ice cubes.

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans; once the water returns to a boil, cook for 1 minute, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to ice-water bath. Drain after a few minutes; if the beans aren't cool, rinse under cool running water. Drain again, pat dry with a clean kitchen towel, then toss the beans with the zucchini.

When ready to serve, spread the salad greens in a large, shallow serving bowl. Scatter the dressed zucchini and beans over them, then the oven-dried tomatoes and shredded mint, if using. Drizzle the dressing generously over the salad.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes," by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Ten Speed Press, 2013).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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