Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bean & Pea Tahini Salad

This past week I got to experience the Melbourne Cup - an event similar to the Kentucky Derby except that it's on a Tuesday and there seems to be a lot more alcohol involved. By 11 am the champagne was flowing and flowing and flowing. Several hours later, while dancing and working up quite a thirst, I recall dimly thinking that the best and quickest way to hydrate was to drink the nearest liquid...which was more champagne. By 8pm we were still out and about and I was stuffing my face with a burger, fries, onion rings and an orange Fanta.

Needless to say, the next day I laid around and took advil, looked hideous, drank gatorade and proclaimed that I was never drinking again! Ever! (lies). Post-recovery I directed my energies at detoxing and eating healthy for the remainder of the week. This lovely recipe was a result of all the debauchery.

This is definitely a main course salad as it's packed with all sorts of veggies as well as garlicky sauteed tofu, chickpeas, and dressed with a punchy tahini sauce. It does take a fair bit of work to get this all together but the end result is a healthy, vibrant vegetarian dish.

For 4 servings:
  • 1/2 pound (.22 kg) thin green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1/4 pound (.11 kg) snow peas, ends trimmed
  • 6 ounces (175 grams) firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry with paper towels, and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14 ounces (400 grams) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as mint, chives, basil, and parsley
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Tahini dressing*
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the green beans and snow peas for 2-3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and rinse under cold water in a colander. Drain the vegetables well. If you're feeling fancy, slice the beans in half lengthwise. Slice the snow peas into thin strips lengthwise. Place in a large bowl.

In a non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden on all sides. Add to the bowl with the beans and snow peas. Stir in the chickpeas, bell pepper, and herbs. Drizzle the dressing over the top and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

*For the dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • The juice of 1 large lemon
Whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

No comments: