Beyond Hummus

I love hummus as much as the next person. It's creamy, delicious, and easy to put together. But I don't make it often enough to justify the large jars of tahini that I tend to have on hand for making hummus. But it would be a mistake to stock the rich sesame paste for just hummus. It adds depth to any number of dishes and can make a thin sauce more robust.

Recently, I've fallen in love with a salad dressing featuring miso (a Japanese fermented soybean paste available in many varieties), maple syrup, and tahini. I'm particularly taken with it because, despite having only a few ingredients, it boasts a rich, complex flavor that can make a bowl of greens with nothing else on it into a special salad. And it can be assembled quickly, stored in the refrigerator, and eaten with a spoon. Oops, ignore that last part. Unless you've already grabbed a spoon. Great, isn't it?

And lest you think this dressing is just for salads, consider using it as a sauce on sandwiches and wraps, drizzled over roasted vegetables, or even as a condiment for grilled or roasted meat. It's time to add this one to your versatile keepers list!

Tahini-Miso-Maple Dressing

  • 2 T. miso paste (you can use your favorite variety - I used red)
  • 2-3 T. warm water
  • ¼ c. tahini
  • 1 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1 T. soy sauce or tamari
  • ¼ c. rice vinegar
  • Small pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 T. olive oil

In a high-walled container, stir the miso paste into the warm water to dissolve it. Add the remaining ingredients and, using an immersion blender, process it until smooth. Alternately, you could combine everything in a resealable jar and shake it vigorously to combine. Serve drizzled over your favorite salad or as a sauce for everything from sandwiches to steak. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

  • Yields: About 2/3 cup dressing
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

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