I’m Obsessed with This 3-Ingredient “Liquid Gold” Salad Dressing That Goes With Everything

published Sep 15, 2023
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Brett Regot/Kitchn

About four years ago, on a hot New York City summer afternoon, I stumbled across a game-changing dressing recipe by host of Minimalist Baker and cookbook author Dana Shultz. I can’t recall exactly what lucky sequence of events led me to this tahini-based concoction, but I’m extremely grateful: It’s incredibly easy to make, it works on all kinds of things, and requires just three ingredients, none of them hard to get. 

Most important, though: It’s damn tasty. 

As Shultz writes, this recipe is “so delicious it’s like liquid gold.” And speaking from excessive firsthand experience, that’s not an exaggeration. 

I estimate that, by this point, I’ve whipped this dressing up over 100 times. And I’m still not sick of it — not even close. In fact, my obsession has probably only increased. The dressing — which is made with lemon juice, maple syrup, and tahini, plus a little bit of hot water — delivers a delightful balance of sweetness and tang, simultaneously tasting both creamy and refreshing. Even better, it takes just about a minute or two of light whisking before it’s ready for inhaling — er, civilized consumption. 

These days, I make a batch of this liquid gold every single week (and sometimes multiple times a week) and I use it dress up all kinds of food. I use it as a topper for my daily veggie and nut salads. It’s also terrific drizzled over roasted vegetables — either as a side or in a grain bowl. I actually discovered the dressing along with Shultz’s Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowls, although she later tweaked it as a standalone recipe. You could also serve this delicious sauce with falafels and fritters

In scrolling through the comments under Shultz’s recipe post, it appears I’m not alone in my obsession. But where I’ve rarely strayed from the OG ingredients, some folks have gotten more creative. One commenter swapped the water for fresh orange juice and then added parsley before blending everything together. Another adds a glug of olive oil and a few squirts of apple cider vinegar. Someone else suggests miso “for additional umami.” And as Shultz comments, in lieu of lemon juice, you could substitute lime, or apple cider vinegar. You could also swap the tahini for another seed butter or for natural, unsweetened peanut butter, or use honey in place of maple syrup.

All of those iterations sound pretty stellar to me, and as I learned while reading the comments, there are even more uses for this dressing than I previously imagined. Sandwich spreads, dips, potato salads, pasta salads … please excuse me while I make a beeline for the kitchen.

This article originally published on The Kitchn. Read it there: Why I’m Obsessed with This 3-Ingredient Salad Dressing