Tried and Tasted is a popular event started by Zuzana of Zlamushka's Spicy Kitchen. It is an event that celebrates fellow bloggers by re-creating their recipes and writing about them. This month, it is hosted by Vaishali of Holy Cow!, and the blog to be scoured for recipes is the fabulous FatFree Vegan Kitchen.
You would have thought I could have found something more challenging than a sauce from the vast array of recipes on Susan's site, but - I came across it, it appealed instantly, I had most of the ingredients, so there you are!
Not being au fait with Vegan alternatives to sauces and dressings which normally contain animal products such as eggs and cream, this did not actually mean anything to me. But judging from the many comments to Susan's recipe, the original condiment is divinely tasty but also very fattening. This is where this light version really comes into its own. 2 tbsp of the dressing only have 19 calories!!! And judging from the rave reviews, Susan nailed the taste, too. Now, I can't comment on how close it is to the original, and to some extent, I can't even comment that much on the proper taste of this recipe (see below), but I know that this will feature in my household from now on. The combination of silken tofu, tahini, sesame oil, garlic and herbs was thick and smooth, supremely tasty, and also extremely versatile.
I first tried it out on a salad:
The thick sesame sauce on the buttery taste of the lambs' lettuce made this combination feel wickedly naughty. And did I mention that 2 tbsps only amount to 19 calories?
Then I used the goddess hot on the King of Vegetables, asparagus:
It also worked a treat as a lo-cal, no-egg mayonnaise substitute in a potato salad:
I have mentioned that 2 tablespoons only come to 19 calories, haven't I?
I also made a coleslaw with it - which worked up to a point. It was great when I tasted it, but I put it in the fridge and by the next day, the cabbage and carrot had soaked up all the liquid and it seemed far too dry. So, if you are going to use it for this purpose: only mix it together just before serving. (Which I did for the potato salad - just in case!)
Now for the 'changes'. If you had a look at Susan's recipe, you'll find that her sauce looks almost white, whereas mine looks yellow. Well, when I came to add the tahini, I found that my rather large container was hopelessly out of date. Nothing particularly unusual in this household..., where such recommendations are considered only rough guidelines, mainly designed to encourage you to discard perfectly acceptable foods and support large supermarkets with outrageous profit margins. My tahini was a very dense paste and it was probably darker than it normally is. My soy sauce was also the dark variety, and so was my sesame oil. That's my explanation for the more buttery rather than creamy appearance of my dressing.
Incidentally, there was someone else reporting that they had used almond butter as a substitute for the tahini, so that's something else to try, and made me think that maybe peanut butter would also produce an interesting variant. And that's before you've started experimenting by adding other ingredients, such as different herbs, or mustard, or capers and gherkins for a sauce tartare.
This turned out a perfect recipe for me to try out, so thank you Zuzana for organising this event, and thank you Susan for inventing the divinely dressing!