Grapefruit, grilled onion, and cracked almond spinach salad with Tahini Dressing

Tahini salad

I made this salad on Monday as part of dinner. The dressing is adapted from this recipe from Bon Appetit. The adjustment is for a little more tahini and a bit less oil. This dressing is great all around and will sit in the fridge without separating. It works well with chicken and fish as well.

In this case, I paired it with a sweet spinach salad. The dressing has a tangy, nutty flavor, and the sweet acidity of the grapefruit combined with the sweet earthiness of the grilled onions balances the salad well. The almonds add some crunch and a nice aroma. There aren’t quantities listed for the salad items because I never measure these things. Use your judgement.

It should also be noted that the picture here is of a half-eaten salad. The piling of grapefruit in the middle was quite dramatic, but it got gobbled down by everyone before I remembered to take a picture. So, imagine a dramatic pile of grapefruit flesh with an annulus of grilled onions.

My Rating: 8

Tahini Dressing:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 clove of garlic minced or put through a garlic press
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Put all ingredients except the oil in a blender and blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly pour the oil into the running blender. Stop, you’re done.

For the Salad:
Bunches of washed baby spinach
onion sliced as thin as you can
Grapefruit
whole almonds

I use the prewashed bags of baby spinach and start with a fair blanket of spinach on the plate. The onion gets tossed in a non-stick pan over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil and a little bit of salt to brown a bit. Don’t turn the heat up, or the onion will burn instead of browning. When the onion is soft and browned (not really caramelized, but just begining to head in that direction), place it on top of the spinach on each plate. The residual heat from the onion should wilt the spinach just enough to take away a little of its crunch.

When the onions are out of the pan, throw the whole almonds in and let them feel some low heat for a bit, agitating them every now and then to flip them over. It’s hard to say exactly how long to do this, you just have to sort of smell them. Like with pine nuts, they go from raw to burnt pretty quickly and there is a time window in between when they release this roasted nut smell that says, “hey, I’m ready,” so wait for that, or if they look like they’re getting toward burnt, take them off the heat. It should only take a few minutes total. Put them in a mortar and pestel and bash them up a bit. Or if you prefer you can use a miniprep and give them a quick whirl. Sprinkle them over the salad plates.

For the grapefruit we only want the flesh. I explain how to do that here (link will be added shortly). Spread the flesh on top of the salad plates and drizzle with dressing. You’re done.

I think that was harder to explain than it was to do.

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