Less is more

Do you know what is amazing about the inside of my refrigerator? You can see through to the back of it! I assure you this never happened in my Costco-shopping days of yore (unless we were about ready to leave on vacation, or something). That baby was always packed to the gills.
When we decided to transition from weekly Costco excursions to weekly CSA boxes from Full Circle, we got a little nervous that we might, gulp, run out of fresh fruits and vegetables. That has not happened! Jeff usually picks up a few things at the Whole Foods right next to his office, but we’ve been doing great with Full Circle. And I have to say it, I really like the feeling of using up fresh food in a timelier fashion. No more chomping down bigger portions of fruits and veggies than we might normally, just so it doesn’t “go bad.” And we have much less waste than we used to. That’s good, with the global overpopulation and all.
When I’m not faced with the pressure of using up week-old produce, I can look forward to the new produce that arrives on my doorstep every Wednesday. Last night, we grilled pork chops from our pig-in-the-freezer, along with half of the bunch of asparagus I ordered as an extra item in our box. I made an arugula-basil pesto (inspired by this recipe) and served it over the chops and the asparagus. 
On the side was a big kale salad with tahini dressing. I’ve had a similar salad twice at a Whole Foods in Portland, and loved it. Accordingly, I was on the hunt for a good tahini dressing recipe, and found it as I was continuing on my little nostalgia trip through some of my first volumes in my cookbook library. Thanks to Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant, I found exactly what I needed. This is really an excellent cookbook, and I’m quite excited to discover it again with new, more adventurous eyes. Back in the day, I’m afraid, I never would have tackled something with an exotic ingredient like tahini!

Be warned if you use it on kale…you have to toss and toss and toss the salad some more. When I make kale salad with olive and sesame oil, I’ll actually massage the oil into the kale rather than toss it, but it seemed strange to do the same with a creamy dressing. It would actually be best to make the salad a bit before you plan to serve it, again, unlike regular lettuce salads, which you usually toss right before serving. This was a big hit, and it will be on regular rotation in my house! I’ve included the full recipe below, although I did cut it in half when I made it.

Tahini Dressing
Yields 3.5 cups

Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup other vegetable oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup tahini
1 cup water

  1. Put all ingredients except the water in a blender or food processor; blend or process until smooth.
  2. Gradually add water and mix until you have a thick, creamy dressing.
  3. Dressing will keep several weeks if refrigerated and tightly sealed.