03/29/2013 08:52 EDT | Updated 05/29/2013 05:12 EDT

RECIPE: Why Your Steamed Veggies Need a Tahini Topper


Throughout the winter, I find myself routinely resorting to roasted root veggies as a main component to many of my meals. I suppose I like the comfort and grounding that both the cooking technique and tubers provide, and the richness they evoke when caramelized at high heat. Come spring, I find it tough to let go of my faves like sweet potato and turnip, because to me, they pair so well with early harvest treats asparagus and peas. So how do I re-work my mainstays to suit the change of season?

Less dry heat, more steam, baby. Lighter fare. During the delightful days of denim jackets, daffodils, and the dance of first robins in search of worms, nothing beats a big plate of steamed veggies, dressed with a simple sauce. And that sauce ought to incorporate the freshness of herbs, the brightness of lemon, and a touch of silk via some healthy fat. Crowning glory? A generous sprinkle of nuts and seeds. This:

Tahini Dressing

3/4 C tahini (sesame seed butter)

3 T fresh lemon juice

2 T chopped fresh cilantro

1 T chopped fresh parsley

1 t cumin

1 large or 2 small cloves garlic

Sea salt to taste

Warm water as needed

Combine all ingredients in small blender or food processor until well combined. Begin drizzling in water with processor running until desired consistency is reached. Serve with veggies, top with nuts.

Tahini Recipes