Tahini Salad

 

This is a simple Palestinian salad, great as part of a selection of salads, barbecue accompaniment or as a quick lunch with some bread and crunchy vegetables. I really love it with fasoolia (green beans with fresh tomato sauce) and rice.

The tahini sauce should be light, creamy and lemony. The vegetables and herbs should all be finely chopped and the salad should be served a little chilled.

Ingredients

A large handful of parsley
3 tomatoes
½ a large cucumber
salt to taste 1-2 tsp
tahini paste 150 ml approx
The juice of 2/3 lemons
50ml – 100 ml water
Olive Oil

First of all peel the tomatoes. If you do not have a peeler that works for tomato skin, you can put them in boiling water for 5 minutes and then peel the skin off. Leave to cool and deseed them. Chop the tomato into a very fine dice and if very juicy place in a strainer and retain the water. Peel and finely dice the cucumber as well.

Chop the parsley very finely; a good technique is to gather and pinch so that it is very tightly bunched together and then slice across in one direction.

The dressing should be silky and rich with a citrusy tang. I like my sauce to be fairly loose and lemony as tahini is quite rich and has a rather dominant flavour. Whatever your preference, it should have a creamy and smooth consistency. Also buy a good quality tahini; al Nakhil and California garden (Lebanese brands) can be found in many Turkish and Asian food stores.

Use a knife to stir the tahini in the jar as the contents tends to separate. To the bowl with the tomato and cucumber, add about 2/3 of the tahini and stir it so that the salad is coated. Now slowly add the lemon and gently stir. Add 1 tsp of salt and the tomato juice if you had some, plus 50 ml of water.

If it needs a bit more thickness to it, add the remaining tahini slowly and stir it in or if too thick more water. Add 1-2 – 1 tsp more salt depending on your tastes.

Stir in the parsley gently and refrigerate for 15 minutes so that is chilled. Take it out, give it one final stir and a drizzle of olive oil and its ready. Best eaten with warm fresh bread.

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