Baba Ganoush


this is a super simple recipe but the flavors combine beautifully and continue to develop as you let it sit.

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 cups tahini
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 squeeze lemon (optional)
  1. roast eggplant directly over a grill or open burner (careful in fire alarm sensitive areas), until skin is completely blackened and blistering
  2. remove from fire are let cool a bit then put it in a plastic bag
  3. when it has cooled down enough (20ish minutes) peel off the skin. alternatively, cut the eggplant in half and scoop the insides out with a spoon
  4. in a large mixing bowl, mash the eggplant and add tahini, mustard, capers and lemon juice

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Avocado Tahini Smoothie

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Cabbage-Beet Tahini Slaw


This is my bastardized version of Mission Chinese Food’s beautiful cabbage salad. But hey, sometimes when you’re a college student on a budget you have to pick and choose which exotic pantry items you can afford and which are just going to have to wait. I used peanuts for a crunchy element, although I would love to try it with some sort of grain. I also cut out quite a few ingredients that I couldn’t find at the local market but still thought it came out pretty good.

note: This makes a BIG salad. I wanted to use the whole cabbage in one go so I upped the dressing, the good news is it makes for great leftovers. On the other hand you can always use half a cabbage and dial down the dressing measurements.

  • 1 head red cabbage
  • 1 large yellow beet
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp tahini (you’ll definitely want a runnier tahini for this, the Whole Foods 365 one is my best friend)
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 8 anchovy fillets (preferable ones packed in olive oil)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 sheets nori (like the big sushi ones)


  1. slice cabbage and beets (I did matchstick cuts-see photo) and mince garlic
  2. in a bowl or jar add tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, tamari (or soy sauce) and rice vinegar and shake well
  3. slice the anchovy fillets as finely as possible then add them to the dressing and continue shaking until combined
  4. heat a non stick skillet over medium high heat then add the sesame seeds, make sure to keep an eye on them and continue tossing them
  5. once they start to smell nice and turn a little brown remove them from the pan
  6. in the same pan add the peanuts and do the same thing
  7. rip the nori into little pieces and add it to your big bowl of cabbage and beets, add the nuts and seeds as well then pour dressing over
  8. mix thoroughly with tongs or your hands

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Tahini Roasted Veggies and Beans


I really love tahini. If you don’t know what it is, it’s a Middle Eastern paste made of ground sesame seeds and it’s delicious. It’s one of the key ingredients in hummus but I really like the roasty flavor it acquires when it is baked. It’s great baked with meat (can you say lamb?!), beans or vegetables.

  • 10 small carrots
  • 12 small brussels (halved)
  •  1 lemon
  • 1 lg garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp tahini (depending on thickness)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp tamari (can substitute soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup cannelini beans
  • 1 tbsp water
  • olive oil
  • black pepper
  1. in a small bowl mix tahini, tamari, cumin, lemon juice and water
  2. pre-heat oven to 350°F
  3. mince garlic and add to the sauce, juice half of the lemon into the sauce as well
  4. line a baking dish and spread the carrots, beans and brussels in it; drizzle them with a little olive oil and sprinkle with pepper
  5. pour tahini sauce over everything
  6. bake for 20 minutes or until tahini starts turning golden brown and brussels are roasted to your liking

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Tahini Cauliflower w/ Caramelized Shallots

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 medium-sized eggplant (diced)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp apricot jalapeno jam (optional)
  • 1/2 shallot
  • black pepper
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pat butter

  1. caramelize shallot in the 2 tbsp olive oil and butter, remove from pan
  2. add remaining tbsp olive oil to pan at medium heat
  3. cut florets off cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and add to pan, drizzle vinegar and jam over top (optional, could replace w/ honey)
  4. after 5 minutes add eggplant and continue to cook at medium-low heat, making sure the eggplant doesn’t turn to mush but it cooked through (opaque-looking) grind pepper over top
  5. take off heat and mix in a bowl w/ shallot, mustard and capers

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Chickpea Salad

This was another cold salad born out of necessity during this weekend’s heat wave. Chick pea is “pois chiche” in French, I think it’s one of my favorite French words, next to champignon (mushroom) and pamplemousse (grapefruit). My friend asked me what my favorite French words were, while studying abroad, and when I told him this list, he was like “of course they’re all foods!” I hadn’t even noticed.

  • 1 can garbanzos/chick peas
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (maybe more depending on the consistency of your tahini)
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 roasted carrots
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 lemon
  1. drain garbanzos
  2. chop spinach, bell pepper and carrots
  3. add garbanzos and veggies to a medium size bowl and stir in curry powder, tahini and red wine vinegar
  4. squeeze lemon juice into bowl, depending on how thick your tahini is (they vary brand to brand), you may need to add more red wine vinegar if it’s too globby (yes it’s a word, I read it in my Biopshychology book today, describing the cervical cortex)

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Brussels, Edamame and Tahini Salad

Sometimes when I don’t feel like going out or going grocery shipping, I pretend I’m on Chopped and turn it into a cooking challenge to figure out a meal using what’s on hand. It’s quite a skill to have, if I may say so myself.

One night my mom and I came home with no specific dinner plan but some pretty great things came out of it. We had some trusty brussels sprouts on hand. Knowing you have a stash of brussels at home is always reassuring because they’re versatile and they last a long time. You can roast them, sauté them or slice them up raw for a substantial salad, which is what I decided to do on said night.



  • 1 lb brussels cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups frozen edamame
  • 3 shallots
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins/golden berries/dates/dried apricots
  • 1 tbsp yellow miso  *note
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • 2 tbsp tahini **
  • generous splash tamari (soy sauce is ok too)
  • a few generous squirts sriracha
  • couple of tsps black and/or white sesame seeds
  1. heat a small pat of butter in a nonstick pan and caramelize shallots
  2. clean and slice brussels, leaving out bitter, white cores
  3. cook edamames
  4. soak your dried fruit of choice in hot water to plump them up, drain and add to sliced brussels along with the edamames
  5. heat miso in the pan used for caramelization, add pistachios, don’t worry if it’s gooey, it will be fine once it joins the other ingredients  *
  6. add the miso/pistachios, tahini **, tamari, sriracha and sesame seeds, toss

* you can skip the miso pistachio step and just use slivered almonds or plain pistachios if you’re not feelin it

**my favorite tahini (especially for this recipe) is the whole foods brand because it’s more viscous than your average thick, sticky tahini. it’s also usually the cheapest

We’ve remade this salad a few times and switched up the nuts and dried fruits depending on what’s available and/or on what sounds appealing to the chefs at the moment.

Speaking of tahini and this salad, this is one of the things we showed our neighbor how to make in an impromptu “what makes good leftovers” cooking class at her house. We also made this tempeh-tahini bake creation that is one of my all time favorite comfort food dinners. We actually adapted the recipe from a lamb dish in “Jerusalem” by Ottolenghi and Tamimi.  I will have to remake it to figure out proportions and measurements. I’ve never paid much attention because I am too focused on eating it. RECIPE COMING SOON


© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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