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Apple-Spinach Salad with Tahini Dressing

November 12, 2012

Looking for a dish that’s light, healthy and absolutely delicious to round out your Thanksgiving menu? Well, look no further. bb has something very fun and easy to make. The only ingredient that may not already exist in your kitchen is tahini. But no problema. Tahini, also known as sesame paste, is available in most major supermarkets (don’t be shy – ask the manager or ask him/her to order it if not stocked) and definitely can be found in Israeli, Kosher, Persian or Middle Eastern markets. Look for tahini that says 100% sesame or sesame paste or pure tahini. Don’t mess with the seasoned stuff. We can season it ourselves, thank you very much.

I got this salad from Judy Zeidler’s classic, The Gourmet Jewish Cook. She calls this her “telephone salad” because after she serves this to guests, she always receives calls the next day asking for the recipe! Serve this salad weeknights, for a special dinner or holiday meal, anytime. It’s like your favorite sweater that can go dressy or casual.
Tahini, combined with some top-quality mayonnaise, lemon juice and a bit of honey to round it all out, make up the dressing. Did I tell you it was easy? I meant it. I won’t even have you messing with lots of bowls.

This dressing mixes up very quickly. Taste to please your palate – more lemon? more honey? Your call!

Here are some basic Waldorf salad ingredients: apples, celery, green onion. The only thing missing are some walnuts for the top (you can throw some in too – what can be bad?)

When  I think of “Waldorf Salad”, I think of Ladies (Wearing Hats and Possibly Gloves) Who Lunch. In the Old Bullock’s Building on Wilshire Boulevard in LA or anywhere on the Upper East Side of New York .

As soon as you dice the apples, always a good idea to toss with a bit of lemon juice.

Toss apple mixture with tahini dressing.

The original recipe calls for spinach only. That’s a great way to go. I also like adding some chopped romaine for crunch and since little cucumbers are a must in my world, I also throw in a couple of diced Persian cucumbers. I love them! If you can’t find sweet crispy Persian cucumbers (don’t need to peel them), pickling cucumbers or Kirby (mostly on the East Coast) cucumbers are great too.

Consider this a Waldorf Salad with a Middle Eastern Twist. Yet another example of East and West coming together. A peaceful Thanksgiving to all -may you be surrounded by family, friends, fantastic food and a feeling of deep appreciation for life.

Apple-Spinach Salad with Tahini Dressing

from  Judy Zeidler’s, The Gourmet Jewish Cook, with very few tweaks


2-3 c.  baby spinach leaves
1 heart of romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
2 little cucumbers, diced
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
juice of 1 lemon
2 T. tahini
2 T. mayonnaise, best quality
1 T. honey
2 T. chopped walnuts, optional
2 T. toasted sesame seeds


In a small bowl, blend the tahini, mayonnaise, honey and HALF the juice of a lemon. You’ll need the rest of the juice for the apples. The mixture will be thick – fear not. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 15 minutes.

Using a large bowl,  toss the diced apples, green onions and celery with the remaining juice of the lemon.

Right before serving, toss tahini mixture with greens and diced cucumbers in large bowl. Add chopped walnuts, if using. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

DO-AHEAD NOTE: The apple mixture combined with the tahini dressing can be prepared the day before and mixed with the greens before serving.

Serves 4. Recipe can easily be halved or doubled.


From → Sides, Veggies

  1. Laura @8! permalink

    Very innovative, juju… Will try out the dressing to use with veggies and crudités since I need non dairy ideas

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