apple salad with tahini dressing

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its new york, in winter, and it’s a high of 30°. i should not be eating salad. i should be reaching for hot soup, or something warm out of the oven.  but for whatever reason i made this salad.  i had been wanting to try out some variation of a tahini dressing but never had the tahini! but since making this yummy dip, i had a decent amount of sesame tahini left over.  i don’t know why i went with apple in the salad (probably because i had it in the kitchen), but the flavor of the crisp apple (honeycrisp apples are more tart than sweet) and the nutty tahini married perfectly! tahini has never been an ingredient i have ever craved, but i now am eager to experiment with it in other dishes. there is not one way of making this dressing.  you can basically add whatever ingredient you like (within reason).  i have seen people use garlic instead of shallot, or use white miso.  however, my only piece of advise is to make sure you thin it out with enough water, especially if you use it for salad dressing – no one wants a salad with dry lettuce.

:: serves 4 or serves 2 with big appetites ::

1 1/2 ounces mixed greens

1/2 cup chopped honeycrisp apple

1/4 cup grated carrot

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon toasted pignoli nuts

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:: tahini dressing ::

1/2 cup tahini

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup water

salt and pepper to taste

blend all the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender.  depending on your preferred consistency you may want to add more or less water.  season with salt and pepper.

combine salad greens, chopped apple, grated carrots, minced shallot, and toasted pignoli nuts in a large bowl.  toss the salad with the desired amount of dressing.  i had enough left over for another salad.

:: enjoy ::

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herbed wild rice patties

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these patties are versatile, and can be made using brown rice, lotus rice, red rice, etc.  however, i would stay away from white or sushi rice, i’m not sure they would add any flavor to the dish.  additionally, you do not have to use oat flour.  i simply prefer it.  you can also substitute the grape seed oil for another “high heat” oil.  just to note, if you are using dried herbs you can decrease the amount by 1/2.

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inspired by sprouted kitchen

:: makes 7 patties ::

1/2 cup uncooked wild rice

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 of a small onion, diced

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 eggs

fine grain salt and pepper

grape seed oil for cooking

:: herb mixture ::

2 tablespoon parsley (if using dried herbs, reduce to 1 teaspoon)

2 teaspoons thyme

1 1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

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:: directions ::

prepare your rice according to the directions that are given on the packaging.

while the rice is cooking – chop the onion, and mince the garlic.  heat a small skillet on medium heat. once hot (your skillet is hot when a droplet of water sizzles), cover the bottom of the skillet with grape seed oil. sautè the onion for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic.  let it cook stirring every few minutes – about 4-5 minutes.  remove from heat and let cool.

next, prepare the herb mixture. chop the parsley, thyme, and oregano.

once the rice is cooked, let it cool.  combine the cooled rice, the eggs, the onion and garlic, and the herb mixture.  stir in the flour.  mix until the ingredients are combined. toss in the crushed red pepper, the salt and pepper (i used about 3 pinches of salt). stir.

let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes.  in the meantime, heat your pan.  (i used an 8-inch cast iron skillet and cooked the patties in batches of 2.)  once the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil (more if you are using a larger pan). while the oil is heating, form the patties: using a small ramekin (mine was 2 inches), scoop a portion of the mixture in the bottom – pat it down to make it compact.  then,  turn it out onto your skillet, and let it cook 4-6 minutes on each side. ready a plate with a paper towel to sop up any unwanted oil.  repeat with the remaining mixture.

:: enjoy ::

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