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This Chopped Salad with Sesame Dressing comes from the cookbook, An Edible Mosaic, Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair, a beautiful labor of love by Faith Gorsky. Make this refreshing salad once and you’ll find yourself craving it often.
My favorite cookbooks take me out of my comfort zone and help me discover delicious flavors and helpful techniques that I wouldn’t come up with on my own. That is why I love An Edible Mosaic, Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. The author, Faith Gorsky, writes a food blog by the same name (sans the tagline).
It’s more than a cookbook, it’s a love story. And not just romantic love, but of connecting to a culture and a new family despite entirely different backgrounds.
Lorraine Elliott, another of my favorite food bloggers, writes in the book’s foreword, “It’s passion for learning and passion for culture that makes one want to learn more about its cuisine…Practically speaking, I appreciate the way that she approaches Middle Eastern cuisine. Like those of us that don’t come from the culture but appreciate it, no question is too silly or basic and she explains the basics to us much like a good friend would.” I agree completely.
Born and raised in upstate New York, Faith fell in love with and married Michael, who was born in Kuwait and raised in Syria. As you can imagine, their cultures, language and the foods they grew up with were wildly different.
They were married in the Middle East and spent the first 6 months of their marriage there. In that six months, she not only fell in love with the “exotic and wonderful” flavors of Middle Eastern Cuisine, but learned to create the dishes herself as she forged a friendship with her mother-in-law despite their language barrier.
Vivid photography, careful directions and captivating flavor combinations bring me back to this book again and again. And every recipe that I’ve tried has exceeded my expectations.
Today, I’m sharing her Chopped Salad with Sesame Dressing with a couple of slight adjustments - swapping in shallot for onion and a basic garden cucumber for the English (or Persian) variety. It’s a perfect example of why I love this cookbook, because I wouldn’t have imagined that a mixture of tahini, lemon juice, water and salt could make a creamy and luscious salad dressing. Nor would I have guessed that you could add an entire bunch of minced parsley to a salad and not overpower it.
I’ve shared just the tiniest bit of Faith’s story, and her beautiful cookbook is filled with 80 recipes that you should try from salads, breads and vegetables to beans, meats, desserts and drinks. If I’ve piqued your interest, I encourage you to read the book yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Chopped Salad with Sesame Dressing
I've modified it slightly, swapping in shallot for onion and a basic garden cucumber for the English or Persian Variety.
- ⅓ cup tahini no added salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large garden cucumber peeled and diced, or English or Persian variety cucumbers (no need to peel)
- 1 large shallot minced
- 4 medium plum tomatoes diced
- 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley minced
- 4 sprigs fresh mint minced
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- In a salad bowl whisk together the tahini and lemon juice until smooth. Slowly add water, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk in salt.
- Add all ingredients except for olive oil (cucumber through mint) and toss gently to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.
- When ready to serve, gently toss once more then drizzle with olive oil and, if desired, divide among 4 bowls. Serve.
Kevin | Keviniscooking says
I'm a big fan of Faith's as well and have had her cookbook on my go-to shelf as well. There are a lot of cookbooks in my house, but there is that one shelf in the kitchen that has 8 I use often and it sits there albeit a little used looking, but for good reason! This is a great salad and the flavors spot on. I think my favorite dessert of hers is the Sesame Seed Brittle, although I like to dunk mine in melted chocolate. Amazing, like this recipe here.
Sesame Seed Brittle? Sold!! I'm going to try that next - dipped in chocolate as you suggest because, YUM!
Faith (An Edible Mosaic) says
I can't thank you enough for your kind words, my sweet friend. That cookbook truly was a labor of love for me, not only in terms of the food, but also regarding the culture of the Middle East. I love that you shared this salad; it's one that I crave often! xoxo
David @ Spiced says
What a gorgeous salad! I love the flavors going on in there, and the photos are particularly striking. 🙂 So I have to agree with you about middle Eastern cuisine. The colors and spice flavors are just so much fun, and there are so many ways to experiment. Tahini as a salad dressing? That's awesome! This sounds like the perfect salad to serve up for a Memorial Day picnic. Thanks for sharing Faith's book as well as this fun recipe!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
Sounds like a lovely cookbook. I love trying new recipes and this one definitely looks like one that I'd enjoy! That dressing is so simple, but I bet packs such a lovely flavour. This one is perfect for summer 🙂 Pinned! Have an awesome weekend, Marissa! xo
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
This is my kind of salad Marissa! I can't wait to get some fresh Jersey tomatoes this summer to use for it. I totally agree, I love getting out of my comfort zone and trying new recipes from my favorite cookbooks! Happy Memorial Day weekend my friend!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Aww I love that you've got one of Faith's recipes! Her cookbook is so amazing and I was honoured to write her foreward. Her recipes are so spot on (in a time when cookbooks aren't very accurate) and everything that I've made has worked out so well. I love your salad Marissa-maybe I need to make this one too! 😀
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
I'm a big fan of the Edible Mosaic food blog! I had no clue she came out with a cookbook! I love Middle Eastern cuisine, but I'm definitely not an expert in that fare, so the book sounds pretty wonderful! Speaking of wonderful- this salad!! Not only is it gorgeous, but the flavors sound stellar! You know I love me a big 'ole salad, so I'm definitely adding this to my must-make list! Pinned! Cheers, my dear! <3
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Marissa. What a refreshing and lovely salad. It has cooled off here finally, but I especially would have loved this last week when it was so hot and cooking was not exactly my priority. .
I like this fresh, simple yet delicious salad, Marissa! This dressing is amazing. I've been finding many dressing ideas which call for tahini lately, but I haven't managed to try this out yet (Although I love tahini). Nicely done!