Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sesame Salad


My older son is graduating from high school this week and I am on a roller coaster of emotions. I'm savoring every moment Sam’s home before he leaves for college. I want to hold on and at the same time let go so he can flourish and grow in new, exciting ways. I find myself swallowing a lump in my throat quite often these days! Time is moving quickly ... how did I get to this point in parenting so quickly? I have truly loved every stage and look forward to this next chapter.


In the meantime (and putting me further out of sorts!), I haven’t been cooking much in June yet due to the whirlwind of end-of-school events, meetings and graduation activities. Happily, though, Isaac and I stopped at the farmer’s market over the weekend and it was bursting with flowers and berries and garlic scapes and so much more.


Isaac lugged home jugs of ginger beer for me while my bag overflowed with gorgeous lettuce, stunning flowers and the biggest radishes I’ve ever seen.


A lovely salad that we all enjoy is one our friend Debbie makes. I had this salad in mind when I picked up a head of red leaf lettuce at the market. A vinaigrette made with soy sauce, red wine vinegar, Dijon, garlic and olive oil is tossed with toasted sesame seeds and leafy greens. This pantry salad comes together quickly. The umami-rich dressing coats the lettuce leaves lightly, allowing the sesame seeds to cling and add warm, toasty flavor.


Simple and flavorful, I’ll be tossing up this salad as we enjoy the graduation festivities and sharing time together, gathered around the table celebrating.


Sesame Vinaigrette and Salad
Makes 3/4 cup vinaigrette
Recipe from Debbie Lawson

1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari sauce
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar (I use coconut sugar)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
A head of red leaf lettuce

In a small skillet, heat the sesame seeds over low heat to toast them. Stir and watch carefully so they don’t burn. When most have begun to brown remove from the heat and set aside to cool. I often make more to keep on hand in a jar.

In a jar, combine the rest of the ingredients, cover and shake until well mixed. The vinaigrette can be made ahead and kept in the fridge. Give it a good shake before using.

Tear the lettuce up into a serving bowl. Gently toss with enough dressing to coat lightly. Sprinkle in the seeds and mix so the seeds cling to the lettuce leaves. Any leftover vinaigrette can be stored in the fridge for a week.

29 comments:

  1. An early Mazel Tov Hannah. We made it through the big day down here - I too have been breaking out into tears at random times. But I did pretty well during the actual ceremony. We had a lovely Chinese banquet afterwards at our favorite local seafood restaurant with a few close friends and family.

    Like you, I have been cooking very little and that will continue until early July. I will count on our great Tasting Jerusalem group to pick up the slack on that one for me :-)

    Love this simple dressing and salad. I truly cannot wait to be in the same kitchen with you. By the way, thanks for letting me use your photos in the latest TJ post. I used the straight down lemon shot for the feature (wish I knew how to add your blog name to it) and my son saw it and thought it was fantastic. You have to tell what lens and camera you are using.

    Anyhow - enjoy Hannah!

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    1. Beth, I appreciate having you as a kindred spirit. I'm glad we're embarking on this new chapter of parenthood together! Last week's graduation festivities were wonderful. Lots of tears and pride! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed such a lovely celebration for Gregory.

      I'm looking forward to more cooking over the summer (especially TJ!) and hope our time in the kitchen together comes soon. It's my pleasure to share photos with you anytime!

      I hope you're enjoying your time away with your family. xx

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  2. Congratulations to you and your entire family. Wow, a high school graduation! Wonderful, wonderful!

    I have two heads of lettuce coming in this week's CSA (our first box of the year; I'm so excited!) and I've been trying to decide on a dressing. Sounds like this is the one.

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    1. Thank you for your kind wishes, Molly! It's been a marvelous time of celebrating in our family.

      So happy the CSAs have begun! I hope you enjoyed the salad dressing.

      I hope you're having lots of fun with your sweet little one! :)

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  3. Congratulations to your son! What a beautiful looking salad and the dressing looks delicious. Enjoy the moments, wistful as they can make you and keep sharing wonderful food!

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    1. Thank you so much, Amanda! I've been enjoying every moment - happy, wistful, proud...all of it. It's all good!

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  4. wow, so emotional I bet, but congrats to your son! I can imagine the whirlwind of emotions. My daughter is just 20 months old and I'm already asking where the time has gone and am just savoring every moment. This salad looks scrumptious...again, love the sesame seeds/flavor! I could put sesame seeds on anything! Beautiful pictures too!

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    1. Thank you, Brandi! I appreciate your kind words. It has been such a special time of celebrating during this past week and it's not over yet...now we're moving onto Sam's birthday. It's quite a whirlwind of emotion and it's all good. I remember when my boys were your daughter's age well. I have to say, every age is just wonderful and there is so much to appreciate and enjoy. I know we have an exciting chapter ahead!

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  5. Congratulations to your son and I know so well the roller coaster of emotions. A new chapter in life is always difficult to reconcile, happy one minute in tears the next. Your salad is just beautiuful, I love the dressing and the toasted sesame seeds.

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne! You phrased it well - happy one minute, tears the next. And I never know when either will hit! I do know we have a lot to look forward to in this new chapter, though. I'm savoring every moment!

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  6. Oh PERFECT!!! I have all of this and needed inspiration for dinner. Now I've got it....love it when that happens. This is getting made in mere moments.

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    1. Erina, I hope you enjoyed the salad! I'm so happy you had everything on hand. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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  7. Congratulations Hannah - what a momentous passage for both of you. I can only imagine the internal struggle between holding on and wanting to help hold him up to be his own man. A bit of sadness, a lot of love, excitement and beauty. Enjoy it all. xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much, Alyssa! You've summed up my feelings well. It has indeed been a marvelous time filled with lots of celebration, love and pride. And then I've had my moments, as well...I guess I'll always want just a little more time. Sigh - the life of a parent!

      Congratulations again on Blend! I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead celebrating its release. xoxo

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  8. What a beautiful and simple salad! I love, LOVE sesame anything, so I will definitely be making this salad. We planted lettuce in our wee garden and this dressing would be perfect for home-grown greens!

    And congratulations to your son! This is such an exciting (and yes, nervousing...but mostly exciting!!) time for you and your family.

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    1. Thank you, Brianne! I appreciate your kind words. I'm a big fan of sesame, too - love its toasty flavor. How nice that you have fresh lettuce from your garden!

      We are enjoying every moment of this exciting time - lots of celebration, love and happiness. And, of course, a few tears from the proud Mama. It's all good, though. :)

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  9. Such a refreshing twist on a vinaigrette. I love sesame.

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    1. And congratulations on your bittersweet moment. We are going through kleenex boxes right now for the same reason...

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    2. Congratulations to your graduate, Lynda! I hope you are enjoying this time of celebrating, and keeping those kleenex boxes close by. I know I am! What a time of transition, excitement and emotion. I wish you all well!

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  10. Thoroughly nice salad! And so seasonal - we're eating tons of salads and light things at the moment (well, mostly - Mrs K R still is doing some baking!). Congrats to your son - big step! He must be very excited (and no matter what he tells you, a bit apprehensive too - he also knows it's a big step). Good stuff going on in your life - thanks for sharing it with us.

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    1. Thank you, John! I appreciate your supportive words. This is definitely a time of celebration and excitement, mingled with a few bittersweet feelings and the knowledge that a big transition is ahead. As you said, good stuff is going on and I'm a proud Mama.

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!

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  11. Congratulations to your son! Wow... graduating from high school, that's a big milestone for him and you! :) I love sesame in savory dishes (I use a lot) and I can't wait to try this recipe!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Nami! I hope you enjoy the salad. I'm a big fan of sesame, too!

      We have definitely reached a big milestone. Lots celebration and excitement going on here! I'm a proud Mama.

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!

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  12. Hi Hannah,

    I read one food blog, my colleague, Karen's, at My Pantry Shelf, and decided I would try another, and here I am! How fortuitous. Guess where we are spending our family vacation time?

    Love your blog, right up my alley with fresh, easy, inspiring ingredients. My eldest, Sarah just graduated too...she is off to American U. In DC in August. I am so excited for her, I can't be melancholy for myself. Perhaps come October I will be miserable. We love to cook and eat good food...yum bowls, Indian, Middle Eastern, and lots and lots of salad. I made her a family recipe book for graduation. (And she is getting a trip back to her birthplace, India) (no, she was't adopted, we were teaching there when she was born!

    We ate at Issian's in Wallingford and then had ice cream, of course. It was an amazing day!

    Yours, Amy




    Sent from my iPad

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    1. Hi Amy, I'm so happy to hear from you! I'm a fan of Karen's blog and love reading it. Her recipes are always terrific.

      It's wonderful you are in Seattle for your vacation, although it would be much nicer if the sun came back! I'm glad you were here on Saturday to enjoy a gorgeous day. Sounds like you did some good eating in Wallingford! Cantinetta is another great one in that neighborhood. And if you get to Capitol Hill, one of my very favorites is Poppy.

      Congratulations on your daughter's graduation! American U is marvelous - a couple of my friends went there. And a trip to India is amazing! My husband and I have traveled there and are dying to return.

      I hope you and your family enjoy the rest of your visit here. If you would like any recommendations or have time to grab coffee, I'd be happy to chat. hannah@bluekaleroad.com or 206-484-7452. Happy summer to you!

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  13. I love salads in the summer! this looks perfect!

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    1. Thank you, Alex! Summer is definitely here and I'm loving it. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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  14. great sauce, I make something similar for a shredded cabbage salad

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    1. I'm a fan of cabbage and love salads made with it, Orly - yours sounds marvelous with a sesame dressing. I've been roasting cabbage lately and appreciate how sweet and toasty it becomes.

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