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Quick & Healthy Recipe: Garlic Tahini Dressing

tahiniI’ll be the first to admit I have culinary commitment issues.

One week, a certain salad dressing might be the apple of my eye, only to suddenly seem ‘blah’ overnight.

As a result, purchases of bottled salad dressings aren’t very fruitful for me.  After a bottle is approximately halfway used up, it sits in my refrigerator for months, unused and ignored until it expires.

“I’m just not that into you,” I say apologetically as I empty it out in my kitchen sink.

Alas, I don’t want to get a bad reputation in the salad dressing aisle.  That’s why I now make my own salad dressings in very small batches.

This dressing below — a tasty break respite from vinaigrettes — is one of my all-time favorites.  It goes particularly well over crunchy raw salads or steamed vegetables.  I was inspired by the tahini dressing served by one of my favorite New York City vegetarian restaurants.  Thank you, Quantum Leap!

YIELDS: 4 servings


1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 or 3 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt


Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined.

Let stand for a few minutes and serve.


90 calories
1 gram saturated fat
150 milligrams sodium

Good source of: Copper, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin C

Added bonus 1: Tahini — also known as ‘sesame seed butter’ — is high in beta-sisterol, a phytosterol that helps lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

Added bonus 2: Sesame seeds also contain sesamol, an antioxidant that helps lower atherosclerosis (that’s the technical term for “hardening of the arteries”) risk.



  1. Corey said on August 15th, 2009

    In a food processor combine silken tofu, soy sauce, honey, garlic, onion, and ginger. Creamy but healthy asian salad dressing.

  2. Andy Bellatti said on August 15th, 2009

    Thanks for sharing, Corey! Can you provide specific amounts? How much of each ingredient??

  3. Lexi said on August 16th, 2009

    “After a bottle is approximately halfway used up, it sits in my refrigerator for months, unused and ignored until it expires.”

    lol good to know it’s not just me.

  4. Holly said on August 17th, 2009

    Sounds tasty, I will have to give this a try. One question, how long does Tahini last? I bought a big jar to make hummus and I’m not going through it very fast.

  5. Andy Bellatti said on August 17th, 2009

    Tahini lasts a VERY long time. Just make sure to store it in the fridge. I’ve had the same container in the fridge for over a year.

  6. alice said on August 22nd, 2009

    Yes, if only more dressings came in miniature sized packets! The first time I made this dressing, I didn’t really like the garlic in it so the second time, I skipped the garlic and water but added more lemon juice, some ground cumin, paprika, chopped parsley (almost everything I put in hummus) and it was faboo.

  7. Marilyn Weissman said on July 15th, 2012

    Homemade salad dressings are one of the easiest things to prepare. Every single week, I make a small amount of dressing-vinaigrette, tahini based, Asian inspired, herb laden. Even organic, supposedly healthful bottled stuff is bad news! whatever I make goes on greens, lettuces veggies or grains.

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