Shortly after moving to Bismarck in the summer of 1992, I got a job working at the Green Earth Café (now closed). Working in restaurants and cafés requires a certain amount of multitasking. Some of my responsibilities as a new employee included making basic sauces and dressings and prepping vegetables for soups and entrées.
I was making a salad dressing (a specialty of the house made with sesame tahini, soy sauce, oil and vinegar, garlic and various herbs); mixing small amounts in the blender and then pouring them into a one-gallon container for storage. At the same time, I was prepping the vegetables for a stew. I had placed about three cups of dressing in the blender, put the lid on, turned the blender on and turned my attention to carrots and onions. I had chopped about two carrots when I heard screaming behind me—multiple screaming. I turned just in time to see the blender, now in the descending aspect of its arc of travel, spewing its contents over walls, tables, chairs and people, finally coming to rest with a messy and oily “thunk!�? on the carpet directly in front of the cash register.
Half an hour later, after cleaning ourselves, the kitchen and scraping as much of the mess off the carpet as possible, I was making a new batch of dressing.
This is my version of Green Earth Café’s Tahini Garlic Dressing. You can substitute your favorite vinegar for the lemon juice. This dressing will keep well for several days in a tightly sealed jar in your refrigerator.
½ cup sesame tahini
1 cup olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic (more if desired)
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼-cup fresh lemon juice
Place the sesame tahini, oil and soy sauce in a bowl and whisk thoroughly for several minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the garlic and spices and whisk until incorporated. Slowly add the lemon juice, whisking constantly. Be careful not to over mix at this point or the dressing may separate. The separation will not affect the taste of the dressing, but it will not have that smooth and creamy look and texture. Taste, then add a little more lemon juice if desired.
Use as a dressing for green salads or on top of grilled poultry. May also be used as a dip for raw vegetables or as a spread on sandwiches.
Yield: about 2 cups