This is one of those dishes that came together out of necessity, but has quickly become a favorite. Before we left for Vermont, I was working hard to make use of the less-portable constituents of our CSA share. (The potatoes, garlic, and peppers made the trip with us!) As luck would have it, this coincided with being out of olive oil and trying my darndest not to make another trip to the store before vacation.
I started making a no-frills cucumber salad—one with a simple dressing like Dan talked about on the podcast with a fat, an acid, and whatever fresh herb I needed to use up—then remembered that there was no olive oil. I had canola oil, coconut oil, lard (ha!), and butter, none of which it seemed right to subject my cucumbers too. I considered something peanut-saucey (I like this cucumber peanut salad from 101 cookbooks), but settled on my neglected jar of tahini. Without realizing it, I made a salad out of the good stuff that usually dresses up falafel. There’s a reason why folks have been putting these ingredients together for years and years: they work!
Cucumber Tahini Salad
Yield: serves 2 as a side
- 2 medium (about 1 1/2 lbs) cucumbers, peeled, de-seeded, and diced
- 1 scant cup (about 4 oz) sungold tomatoes, halved
- 1 very small clove of garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup sesame tahini
- 2 t lemon juice
- 2 T warm water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the diced cucumbers and minced garlic in a bowl and set aside. Reserve the halved tomatoes separately.
- In a jar or small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, and warm water until smooth. It will seem thick for a dressing, but will thin out once combined with the cucumbers.
- Stir the tahini into the cucumber mixture until the dressing evenly coats the cucumbers.
- Add the tomatoes to the salad, folding gently to incorporate.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- I prefer eating this shortly after it is prepared because, like most cucumber salads, if made too far in advance the cucumbers have time to release their liquid, affecting both their texture and the consistency of the dressing.
- I like using sungold tomatoes here because I think their sweetness goes great with the tahini and they’re my absolute favorite, but any other bite-size tomato will work.