Open Sesame Salad with Beets

So I've heard that the term "Open Sesame" - the command that unlocks the treasure-containing cave in the story Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves - stems from the fact that sesame pods pop open when the seeds are mature and ready to eat.  Whether or not this is true, one fact remains: sesame is a super nutritious & tasty food to work into your routine.


I've been obsessed with all things sesame lately.  I use the cold-pressed unrefined oil as a skin moisturizer; I use the toasted oil for cooking; I buy the hulled seeds, unhulled seeds & black seeds and toss them all into stir-frys, salads, noodles & rice; and I use the seed paste (also known as tahini) in smoothies, salad dressings, sauces, hummus, and just about everything else.  I love it.


Sesame seeds have a very high mineral content - they are rich sources of copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium and iron for starters.  In fact, I often recommend sesame seeds & tahini to my clients as a good source of plant-based calcium and iron (and when combined with garbanzo beans for hummus - even better!)  It should become a new staple food in your home!


This is a salad I whipped up one afternoon when I was particularly craving sesame.  I had recently been to a local farm stand and was sitting on a head of green cabbage, golden beets and red kale.  Here's what unfolded.


Open Sesame Salad with Beets

Serves 1-2.  Depends on how hungry you are.  And what you serve it with.

For the Sesame Beet Salad:

  • 1 medium golden beet, shredded

  • 1/4 tsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos

  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil

  • 1/4 rice vinegar

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and let sit.  The longer it sits, the tastier it becomes.  You can absolutely eat this beet salad straight up.  I often do, or I'll add it to another salad, like I did so here.

Base salad:

  • 1 cup chopped Red Russian kale

  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil

  • 1 cup chopped green cabbage

  • 2 ribs celery, chopped

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Massage the chopped kale with the sesame oil.  Combine massaged kale, cabbage and celery in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with seeds.

For the dressing:

  • 1 T tahini

  • 1 tsp miso*

  • 1 T rice vinegar

  • 1/4 tsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos

  • 1 T warm water (to thin & facilitate blending)

*I used chickpea miso because I had it and love it.  Use whatever miso you like best.

Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Pour over base salad and toss to coat.  Optional: sprinkle with cayenne pepper for some kick.  Top base salad with beet salad.  Eat as is, or  serve over quinoa, millet or rice.