Tahini Tomato Salad

IMAG1900The tahini makes this a nice change from a regular tomato salad. Consider making this easy saladĀ alongside a Middle Eastern or Turkish meal (like the moussaka, above).

Serves 4 as a side salad

1/3 cup tahini paste
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and white pepper to taste
4 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges orĀ slices, or chopped
Small handful of parsley, chopped

In a small bowl, stir tahini and cumin. Add lemon juice and stir; the mixture will become very thick. Thin with hot water, a little bit at a time, until the mixture is thin enough to be spooned. Lay the tomatoes on salad plates and drizzle the tahini mixture on top, then sprinkle with parsley.

Rotini in Herbed Balsamic Tomato Sauce

This is a different spin on the standard tomato sauce for pasta. The herbs and balsamic give it a deeper flavor, and the zucchini (courgettes) is a subtle way to work in some vegetables. It’s easy, tasty, and looks good on the plate, making this an ideal weekday dish.

4 sun-dried tomato halves
1 Tbsp. olive oil (or slightly more)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large zucchini (courgette), diced
2 cans peeled plum tomatoes, with liquid
1 tsp. (or more) dried rosemary
1 tsp. (or more) dried oregano
8 oz. dried rotini pasta
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese to taste

Cover the sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water and soak for 10 minutes or so. Drain and chop.

Heat oil in large pan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic. When fragrant, add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes. Add the sun-dried and plum tomatoes, along with the herbs. Cook 15-20 minutes or until sauce is thickened, stirring often and breaking up the tomatoes with the spoon.

When the sauce is done, turn off the heat and add the balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine. Taste and season as desired with salt and pepper, then serve over pasta. Have cheese at the table to put on top.