Tomato Tahini Dressing
May 24, 2010

Is it Monday already?

I think I’m the only person I know who hasn’t spent the last 24 hours in LOST withdrawal. Never got into it–though I’m sure I’ll change my tune one day when I Netflix the whole series five years after the fact, as I’m wont to do.

I don’t think I have to tell you all that I am obsessed with salad. And the obsession extends to all things salad-related: salad bowls, salad spinners, salad bars, and salad dressings. Especially salad dressings. If you’ve spent any time here at CR, you’ve seen some of my favorite dressing creations: carrot miso, maple cinnamon vinaigrette, spicy Thai, raw ranch, and crowd pleasing Asian are just a few of them. And of course, who could forget my zucchini dressing, most beloved of all my veggie-based dressings? I’m always looking for new dressings to spice up my salads, and tonight’s creation wins in the “best newcomer” category — for this week, at least 😉

A while back, my friend Diana made a tomato tahini soup for me. It was love at first sip, and I’ve been looking forward to the summer so that I can make it (and make it again, and again, and again). That recipe really demands fresh, in season tomatoes (preferably heirlooms). But this recipe is doable with any old tomato — you can use tomatoes out of season (if you must), or you can use cherry tomatoes (which have just begun to make a regular appearance at my Sunday farmer’s market), as I did. You can even substitute canned, organic tomatoes, if you’d like to. No matter what tomatoes you use, a little tahini, nutritional yeast, ACV (apple cider vinegar), and a whirl in the blender will transform them into a heavenly salad dressing base. Observe:

Tomato Tahini Dressing (yields 1 1/2 cups)

14 cherry tomatoes (a heaping cup)
8 sundried tomatoes
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp + 1 tsp nama shoyu or tamari
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup water

Blend all ingredients in a blender on high, till they’re creamy and smooth. Check the consistency: if it’s too thick, you can add 1/4 cup water or so to thin it. You can also adjust the acid by adding more ACV if you like.

This dressing is superb: super tangy, but given a nice mellow flavor from the tahini.

It’s a beautiful dressing for any greens. A few nights ago, it was the dressing of choice in this week’s featured nutrient-dense salad of the week (yes, I did just create a new CR tradition):

Spinach, beets, juice pulp crackers, fermented macadamia “goat cheese” (the last of my leftovers!) and tomato tahini dressing in action.


Speaking of Ms. Diana, I ask you to observe the feast she made for me last week:

That’s acorn squash stuffed with brown rice, veggies, and guac, next to a big ‘ole kale salad. Diana knows her audience: she makes Gena food better than I do!

Speaking of guac, I had a chance to revive one of my favorite summer combos at lunchtime today: guac + sprouts, served up in a gigante salad:

Hello, beautiful. How I’ve missed you.

And finally, speaking of avocados: they are without question my favorite source of healthy fat (though let the record show that I enjoy many sources of healthy fats, including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and oils). My pal Katie happens to be hosting a little initiative this month called “hug a fat,” which you can read more about on her blog! While I don’t have a photo of me hugging an avocado to share, I hope that the photos above are an adequate testimony to my love affair with this dreamy fruit. Kudos to Katie for spreading love for healthy fats!

On that note, I bid you go-make-some-tomato-tahini-dressing.


Categories: Dressings

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  1. I just made this dressing tonight and ate it on a kale salad. Delicious! I also ate spoonfuls straight from the container. I think it will be gone before I know it!

  2. Gena, I’ve never used nama shoyu or tamari. I’m wondering if it’s worth the purchase?? I know you love it and use it in a lot of recipes but I have nooo idea what it tastes like! What does it impart to the recipe?

  3. This dressing sounds delicious! I’m not a fan of cherry tomatoes but I get them in my CSA during the summer, so thanks for a new way to try them.

  4. Gorgeous! Thanks for the new recipe. My Vitamix can hardly wait to blend up some tomato and sesame goodness.

    I have two Q’s for you, Ms. Gena 😉

    1. What ratio of dressing to greens do you typically use?
    2. Do you use raw or roasted tahini or both depending on the recipe?

    • 1) I have no idea. I use enough dressing to thoroughly coat my greens.

      2) I buy and use raw whenever I can, but if I can’t find it or it’s not in my budget, I use roasted.

  5. I’m so loving your salads. I never get bored of them and actually crave them, especially this time of year. Good stuff.

    Thanks for the tomato tahini recipe. That’s perfect for the tomato season.

  6. Consider this recipe bookmarked. I am in love with all things tahini and tomato. When my garden is overflowing in tomatoes, I know just the recipe I will be digging up!

  7. Hey Gena,

    I feel like this answer will be simple, but it’s safe for anyone to eat nutritional yeast, right? I have yet to purchase some, but need to make some of these dressings asap!


  8. I’m so excited to try this dressing. I tried making a tamato tahini dressing the other day but it was pretty bland, the nutritional yeast and tamari sound like the missing ingredients! Thanks!

  9. Gena
    Hi again.Love love love that salad dressing.Your recipes are so thought about with proper nutrient dense veggies.

    I have never tried raw kale,steamed it mostly.Will doing so make it lose most of the nutrients?I always hear a reference to Oxalic acid in raw spinach etc..What are your thoughts/advice on that?

    • Hi SMK:

      It’s true that oxalic acid can block iron absorption, so I eat a variety of raw AND steamed kale. Certain vitamins are higher in density when kale is raw; iron and calcium are absorbed better when it’s cooked. So eat it both ways.


  10. I love all your salad dressings. It gives salads so much more flavor!

    diana made a serious meal for you guys. i love that kale salad, looks like the one i get from the whole foods bar, the vegan oil free one.

  11. My editor just asked me to do a piece on Lost and I had to tell him I’d never seen it…I was beginning to think I was alone in the world. But then you showed up 🙂

  12. This is the perfect way to boost calcium in my diet. I know I don,t eat enough sesame seeds and greens to get all my daily intake. And I think that a having a great selection of healthy salad dressing is the key to eat more raw vegetables. With an array of tasteful and healthy dressing, I’m sure to don’t get bored eating salads!

    And the fact that this recipe sounds delicious and quick to prepare is certainly a big plus!

  13. mmm…I’ve been looking for a tahini-based salad dressing (so I can use my tahini for more than just hummus). This one looks like it just fits the bill!

  14. Thank you for reminding me of the tomato-tahini combo! I’ll have to repeat that when we get those pretty heirlooms at the market. This dressing sounds soooo goooood. And of course, thank you for the shout. You give me so much love. 😀

    I finished the Lost finale last night, and I guess I get it, but honestly, watching that show is so humbling – I always feel like I’m missing half the impact. Can a girl get some Cliff’s Notes?!

  15. This dressing looks wonderful, I’ve gotta try it! I’ve been trying and loving more tahini recipes lately.

    I don’t get into many shows, but I did get into Lost and finally finished the finale last night. Not horrible or great.

  16. Wow, that guac looks amazing! What an awesome friend! 🙂 I might have to make some now!

    I didn’t get Lost in Lost either.. kinda glad too, my sis was pretty disappointed with the ending. 🙂

  17. Now that i’m starting to get on the tahini train that dressing looks delicious! I’m going to give that one a whirl today I think. Love the salad porn. x

  18. I love the idea of combining tahini with tomatoes, what a beautiful balance of flavors. Although, I love tahini so much i’m not sure I could ever go wrong there!

    And YAY for avocados! They are my favorite food and I eat at least 1 a day. I was just laughing yesterday, because apparently 1/4 of an avocado is 1 serving size. HAHAHAH! Oh the silliness….I couldn’t eat just a quarter of an avocado if I tried. Not that I ever would. 😉

  19. yum! i love tomato tahini soup so it makes sense i’d like this dressing. i will have to try it.

    by the way i thanked you in my recent blog post. i guess you will just have to read to find out why. 🙂

  20. Ive never seen Lost either. Not once. I have no clue.

    I love the looks of the dressing. I am not the hugest tahini fan but I do make dressings out of it…but I love tomato anything!

    I can’t believe Diana is like your, personal chef! Or, at the very least, that you two ladies get to hang out. Oh what i wouldn’t give to be there!


  21. That is one tasty looking dressing, and so creative. I wish I liked tomatoes. But if you (or Diana) made it for me, I would eat it. 🙂 Hope you are having a good week so far!

  22. I tried watching Lost once but they were playing re-runs out of order so I was all sorts of confused. One day I’ll rent all the seasons to see what the hype is about.

    That dressing looks so simple and perfect! It’s very similar to a french dressing I make, but I don’t have tahini in mine.

  23. Tomato+Tahini=Heaven. Heaven. Heaven.

    And just to be different: Yes, I am in SEVERE mourning over the loss of Lost. There are almost no television shows out there that unfold as great literature unfolds, Lost is one in a million.

  24. I am crazy in love with all of your dressings! Adding blended veggies has renewed my interest in eating salads and made them one of my favorite dishes now, too. I can’t wait to try this one. Thanks, Gena! 😀

  25. Hurrah! And she does it again!! I was absolutely enamoured with your tomato-curry dressing from your veggie-based salad dressings post, and now that I have a spiffy new blender to try out (well, I’m just testing my Mom’s out), I’m pretty stoked to try my hand at tomato-tahini. YAY!! Going to bed a happy girl.

    🙂 aletheia

  26. I also did not care about Lost, but I have a couple of friends who are in mourning. I DID take a couple of days to recover from Grey’s.. that was intense.

    I should try to make my own dressings. My current favs are Annie’s Goddess dressing and Naturally Organic Orange Miso. Both are fabulous.

  27. The nutrient-dense salad post MIGHT (it’s so hard to pick) be my favorite post of all time… so I am elated about this new tradition!

  28. yummy, that dressing looks right up my alley! I <3 anything Tahini!
    I never got into LOST either, but I'm sure I will in the future just like you said. I jumped on the OC boat about 8 years after it was out! Same with One Tree Hill…

  29. I am always on the market for a new homemade dressing and I love sundried tomatoes!

    I also wish I had a friend like Diana who would make me amazing meals like that. It looks fantastic!!