Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Honey-tahini dressing

Eating Well magazine never fails me. Every time a new issue arrives in the mail, I look forward to having some quiet time in the evening to pore over the informative articles, beautiful photographs, and countless recipes. I always see several I can't wait to try.

Last night I made a salad dressing from the current issue: Honey-tahini dressing. It is so delicious, when Daniel and I finished our salads, we devoured more of the dressing by dipping bread into it.

For those unfamiliar with tahini, it's a thick paste made of ground sesame seeds. It's an important ingredient in hummus, and it's the basis for the sauce on falafel sandwiches.

Honey-tahini dressing (makes about 1-1/4 cups)

1/2 cup lemon juice (I used 1 large lemon)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup tahini

2 tablespoons honey

2 cloves garlic, minced (Mom, if you make this, you'll want to use an extra clove!)

1 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper in a blender, a jar with a tight-fitting lid, or a bowl. Blend, shake, or whisk to mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

Food fact: Did you know honey is good for helping to heal minor cuts and burns? Really. Just smear a little bit on the affected spot.

According to Malcolm T. Sanford, a professor in the department of entomology and nematology at the University of Florida, "The sweet actively absorbs water from bacteria and fungi, retarding their growth and reproduction. Honey has been used successfully as a wound dressing because of its bactericidal properties, the result of hydrogen peroxide produced by the enzyme, glucose oxidase. It is also superior first aid for burns; the honey seals off the injured area to air currents, reducing pain and possible infection." (Read more from Sanford here.)

Honey also soothes a cough. Although children younger than 1 year old should not be given honey (infant botulism is a risk), children ages 1 and older can be given 1/2 teaspoon to soothe a cough or sore throat. Adults should double that dose.

I am a big fan of Hunter's Honey, located just about 25 miles from Bloomington, in Martinsville. This family business produces honey that is consistently good. If you ever get a chance to visit a honey farm, do it! The production process is a fascinating one.

Unfortunately, honey bees are dying off because of unknown causes; that essentially puts the growing of all fruits, vegetables, and nuts at risk. Scientists are busy trying to figure out why. Check out this "60 Minutes" segment to learn more.

Hey, you know what else honey is good for? Turning a piece of bland buttered toast into a little slice of Heaven.

Coming soon: Hot and sour soup.


Carly said...

Where did you get such nice looking tomatoes?

Nicole said...

From Bloomingfoods on the near-west side. They're Romas.

Courtney said...

I can't wait to try this dressing and this was a very interesting and informative post as well. I'd love to see the honey making process!

Jen aka Jewbacca said...

i love tahini based dressings. some vegans eat honey, i don't but that can be subbed with agave nectar. yum!

Holly said...

Love all this information about honey! I had no idea it was so versatile.

I also love Hunter's Honey; I always stop by their booth at Farmers' Market.