These hot summer months leave my in a constant state of thirst, so I find myself craving a lot of fresh, crunchy, veggies with high water content to help stay hydrated. Let’s be honest too…. although I love the occasional green juice and it does help with hydration, I’m a fan of actually eating my food…you know – chewing! So every week I tend to swing by the farmers market and buy one of every veggie that’s in season and looking amazing and then I just create some sort of tasty salad to nosh on throughout the next few days. Lately I’ve been traveling on the weekends, so every other week the salads tend to be inspired by the question of “what food do I still have left over from my market excursion that will go bad if I don’t eat it before I leave for the weekend?” Sometimes the culinary result is um….Just fine, as in the salad ingredients will pair well together, but the dressing wasn’t a great match. Other times however, it’s freaking awesome, like today’s clean-out-the-fridge result; Cucumber-Radish salad with Tahini Dill Dressing. My priority was to utilize a gorgeously juicy cucumber, two large radishes that were floating in the bottom of the vegetable drawer, and a bunch of dill that had been staring longingly at me for the past week. I matched these ingredients with crispy celery, creamy tahini, and chewy chickpeas to create a variety of delightful textures.
Cucumber Radish Salad with Tahini Dill Dressing
1 large cucumber
3 stalks celery
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½-3/4 cup hot (as in just boiled) water
4 Tbs Tahini
5 Tbs apple cider vinegar (can use red wine or white vinegar if you don’t have apple cider. Balsamic would be fine, but will change the flavor profile a bit too much)
1 ½ limes
2 Tbs minced fresh dill
Clean and chop the first three ingredients, and combine in a large bowl with chickpeas. Salt and pepper the cucumber mixture, toss and let sit while you create the dressing. Boil water in a kettle or pot. It’s important for the water to be very warm or hot and the tahini, vinegar, and limes to be at room temperature or else it will ruin the consistency of the dressing. Start with tahini in a medium bowl and gradually add half of the water, then stir vigorously until the tahini is thinned out a bit and has a creamy texture. Then add the limejuice and half of the apple cider vinegar. Stir vigorously. Always making sure the tahini dressing returns to a creamy consistency between each ingredient addition. Add remaining vinegar and all of the dill and stir again. Use any remaining water to thin out the mixture into a dressing consistency. Toss the salad with half of the dressing to coat and 1-2 more pinches of salt. Add more dressing if needed, otherwise reserve any remaining dressing and use for another day. I recommend letting the salad chill in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors meld. Enjoy!