A good dinner salad hits the spot any time of year. In the cooler months, however, the lighter dressings I enjoy during the summer months don’t always satisfy.
I created this Lemon Tahini Dressing to stand up to hearty root vegetables and winter squashes. In the process, I realized that it is a great option to other Asian-inspired peanut sauces and stands alone as a delicious dip. The use of coconut milk to thin the dressing keeps it light and wholesome.
Leftover Roasted Butternut Squash with Feta works well in this salad. Also, I particularly enjoy a piece of Indian-Spiced Broiled Salmon on top. Try broiling enough salmon to have on its own one night — perhaps with the roasted squash with feta — then use the leftovers as a room-temperture salad topper the next. Instead of regular chick peas, you could also try a crunchy, roasted version. Click here to see a simple recipe incorporating the same spices.
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 red or yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices or wedges
- olive oil to coat baking sheet
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 15-ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup pita chips, broken
- Romaine, spinach or greens of choice
- Lemon Tahini Dressing, recipe follows
- cooked chicken or salmon (see note)
- 1/3 cup (3 1/4 ounces) tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/3 cup coconut milk (plus a tablespoon or two extra if you prefer a thinner dressing)
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. On a well-oiled baking sheet, toss the squash and onion to lightly coat, then arrange the pieces so they are spread out a bit with the flattest side down. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is just tender and golden brown on the bottom.
- Place desired amount of lettuce on serving plates or in a salad bowl. Top with the roasted squash and onions, chick peas, pita chips, and optional chicken or salmon. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.
- If you have leftover toppings, refrigerate and use for another salad later in the week.
- Combine all ingredients well and store in the refrigerator.
- Best if made at least an hour or two in advance to allow the flavors to meld.
- If you would like to cook chicken or salmon at the same time, place on another baking sheet and cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts for 15-20 minutes and individual salmon fillets for 8-12 minutes, depending on size and thickness.