I am obsessed with tahini. It's one of those exotic-seeming condiments that I didn't try until my later years in life, but now I have made up for it by using it in a dressing on a bi-weekly basis (seriously). Tahini is creamy without ever feeling heavy, works great spread on sandwiches or bean burgers, and makes roasted and raw veggies shine. It has quite a strong taste unique to the sesame seed, but when you change out the spices each batch seems to become something new.
There are a few steps to making this meal, but it comes together quickly and makes a great weeknight meal. Get the cauliflower and chickpeas in the oven first, then prepare everything else while they're roasting. This makes a little more dressing than you may need, but keep it around the fridge for preparing quick salad and spreads.
Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas, and Sautéed Chard with Tahini Dressing
1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 bunch white or rainbow chard, cleaned and dried
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 teaspoons olive oil. divided
Pinch black pepper
1/2 cup tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
big pinch black pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Toss the cauliflower and chickpeas in 1-2 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of black pepper. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cauliflower just starts to get lightly browned on the edges.
2. In the meantime, prepare the tahini dressing: Place the tahini, lemon juice, and all spices into a food processor and blend until creamy, adding water to reach your desired consistency. I like mine on the thin side so I added quite a bit.
3. Thinly slice the greens into strips. Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium, add the rest of the olive oil and saute the garlic for 1 minute. Stir in all the greens, along with a pinch of salt and lightly sauté for 2-3 minutes or until greens have wilted and turned a deep bright green.
4. Plate the greens top with the cauliflower and chickpeas and serve with the tahini dressing drizzled over the top.
Jacquelyn Scoggin became a vegetarian at age 16 and has since been in the kitchen whipping up meals for her family and friends. She writes and photographs her love for vegetarian food on her blog, Good Things Grow. In 2009, she and her husband started Slide Sideways, a graphic design and handmade business. They maintain their love for the environment by using organic fabric, recycled paper, and environmentally friendly cleaning products.