We love our summer veggies; fresh from the garden or the farmers market (on the best days), little is needed to make these emerald babies shine. This glowingly simple recipe for veggies with tahini dressing comes from inside the Naked Cookbook, Tess Ward’s cool new book on eating clean.

Finding a few dressing recipes worth obsessing over is a key to eating (and enjoying) more vegetables day-to-day. Explore our dressing round-up here, then check out Tess’ version below! 

The greens I use for this vary depending on the season. In summer, it will be composed of raw salad greens, so the steaming might only be for a few green beans or a little chard. In the winter, when I feel the need for warmth, more of the greens (broccoli, Tuscan kale and kale) will be steamed. The tahini dressing works superbly, although there are many other options.

Possibly more vital than the dish itself is the dressing. Whether you are pouring, dipping or drizzling them or using them as a condiment, it is great to have a selection in your repertoire. I often keep a couple of jars of my different naked dressings in the refrigerator for speedy use.

summer salad bowl + tahini dressing
Serves 2 to 4


For the tahini dressing:
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp tamari
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
½ garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
freshly ground black pepper (optional)

For the salad bowl:
12 asparagus spears, woody ends broken off, or a handful of green beans
1 cup fresh peas
1 small head broccoli, broken into florets
big handful of kale, chard or spinach
1 head baby Boston lettuce, for serving
½ cup watercress leaves, for serving
1 Tbsp chopped chives or cilantro, for serving


For the tahini dressing:
Put the ingredients into a small jar, put a lid on, and shake well to mix. Season to taste.

Store dressing in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.

For the salad bowl:
Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Place a steamer over a pan of simmering water.

Steam the vegetables one type at a time to avoid overcooking – when still crunchy, vegetables retain more of their goodness and are more pleasing in texture. Steam asparagus for 4 to 8 minutes, depending on thickness; green beans and peas for 2 to 3 minutes; broccoli florets for 2 to 4 minutes; and kale, chard or spinach for 1 to 2 minutes.

Once cooked, plunge the steamed vegetables into the iced water (this will help retain their crispness and vibrant green color); or, if you wish to serve them hot, simply omit this step. Place the steamed vegetables in a serving bowl with the lettuce and watercress. Drizzle with tahini dressing and sprinkle the herbs on top.

Reprinted with permission from The Naked Cookbook, by Tess Ward, copyright 2015. Published in the U.S. by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. 

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