Salad Inspiration

This past weekend at Kripalu I had the opportunity to try a lot of new things. One of my favorites was their homemade tahini salad dressing. Today I just happened to have half a can of leftover tahini in my fridge from last week’s hummus. I found a salad dressing recipe in Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Life. Here’s her original, which I adapted for what I had.


Tahini Dressing (Makes a lot)


  • 1/4 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. shoyu (soy sauce)
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. dried basil or 1/2 tsp. fresh
  • pinch of dried oregano


Combine the onion with 2 tablespoons water in a small skillet, and saute over medium-high heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add more water if the onion begins to stick or brown.

Scrape the onion into a blender and add 1/2 cup water and the remaining ingredients. Blend for a minute or until creamy.

*I substituted a clove of garlic for the garlic powder. I left out the basil because I didn’t have it. I added two lemons worth of lemon juice in the blender. It turned out delicious. I’m usually not a fan of creamy dressings, but this is definitely an exception.

Inspired by the diverse menu this weekend, I decided to switch things up in my salad. I used rainbow chard for lettuce. I cut up the red ribs like celery pieces. I boiled beets (I haven’t figured out how to roast them properly yet). I also threw in some raddish slices, tomatoes, sugar snap peas and leftover chickpeas (from the crockpot last week…so much better than canned). Keeping with my resolution to eat as much asparagus as possible, I made a (kind-of) old favorite: Tuffled Orzo with Asparagus. I got this recipe from InStyle Magazine March 2010. I keep it in a binder with all my other  magazine tear-outs.


Truffled Orzo with Asparagus (Serves 4)


  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 & 1/2 cups orzo
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. pecorino Romano
  • 2 Tbsp. black truffle butter *if truffle butter is unavailable, you can make your own by combining 2 Tbsp. softened butter with 1/2 tsp. truffle oil.
  • pinch of salt and pepper


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Trim the tough ends off the asparagus. Place washed asparagus in boiling water for 1 minute, remove with tongs and set aside. Keep water boiling.

Cook orzo in the same pot for 7-9 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Cut asparagus into 1/4 inch slices and reserve.

In a medium pan heat oil and saute garlic until golden brown. Add asparagus to pan, then add cooked orzo.

Continue cooking mixture over low heat and add heavy cream and butter. Stir constantly. Add cheeses and stir until they melt and combine. Stir in truffle butter, salt, and pepper. Serve in a family style bowl.

*I left out the pecorino Romano cheese. I didn’t have truffle butter. I used Earth Balance Natural Spread and drizzled 1/2 tsp. truffle oil in while I was stirring.

Salad with homemade dressing and anything with asparagus = my perfect spring meal.

What’s your favorite spring vegetable dish?



Filed under Dining in

2 responses to “Salad Inspiration

  1. Rebecca Brumberg

    this looks amazing! I make a similar recipe with mushrooms and without truffle butter – this is an awesome one for me to try.

    • That sounds awesome, I love mushrooms! Next time I make this recipe I think I will leave out the heavy cream (it’s not really necessary) and double up the garlic.

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