Tahini Caper Salad Dressing

Tahini Caper Salad Dressing
A Tahini Caper Dressing turns a simple salad savory. © Miri Rotkovitz
  • 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: Makes about 2/3 cup
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Tahini -- the ground sesame paste that many know as an ingredient in hummus or a drizzle over falafel -- is having quite a renaissance right now. That's because it makes a surprisingly versatile ingredient in everything from savory dishes to sweet baked goods, like Middle Eastern Food Expert Anita Schecter's Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

Tips: To maximize the amount of juice you get from your lemon, try rolling it on the counter while pressing down firmly with your palm before you cut and squeeze it. Thin skinned lemons that feel heavy for their size tend to yield the most juice.

Make it a Meal: Toss together a salad of crisp romaine lettuce, Persian cucumbers, and tomatoes and drizzle with Tahini Caper Dressing. Keep prep and clean up to a minimum and serve with this super simple Herbed Chicken, Corn, and Green Bean Sheet Pan Dinner

Where to Buy Tahini: Middle Eastern Markets, specialty grocers, kosher supermarkets, and health food stores are good sources for tahini. If you can't find it locally, you can order online from Soom Foods, which uses the prized Ethiopian White Humera sesame seeds in its tahini. (The kosher-certified, vegan Soom tahini happens to be a favorite of several prominent Israeli chefs -- Einat Admony, Michael Solomonov, and Alon Shaya serve it at Bar Bolonat, Zahav, and Shaya, respectively. Their restaurants may not be kosher, but they can definitely vouch for quality tahini!)  

If you live in New York City (or happen to be visiting), make a stop at Seed + Mill, an artisanal halva and tahini outfit in Chelsea Market. (You can order online, but you must order at least $30 worth of product.) Seed + Mill's products are certified by either Badatz or United Kosher Supervision, depending on whether the they were made in Israel or in on site in New York. You can also make your own tahini with this recipe from Middle Eastern Food Expert Saad Fayed. 

What You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon caper brine
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed, and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons zaatar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

How to Make It

 1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini and lemon juice. Add the capers, caper brine, chopped garlic, rice vinegar, and zaatar, and whisk again. Slowly stream in the olive oil while continuing to whisk, until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. 

2. Serve over salad, grilled fish or chicken, or grain bowls. Store, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 2 days.