Middle Eastern-Inspired Pasta Salad with Tahini Dressing (Vegan)
  • Servings: 6
  • SALAD:
  • 8 oz. penne pasta (I used whole wheat)
  • 2 cups shredded purple or green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup pickled turnips*
  • 5 pickled hot chili peppers, sliced into rings (Mezzetta is my favorite)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for 10-12 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the salad.
  3. In a small jar or tupperware container, combine the ingredients for the dressing minus the salt and pepper. Close the lid tightly and shake until combined. If you want it less thick, add more vinegar to thin it out. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss thoroughly. Eat at room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
I came up with this recipe when I had an abundance of Middle Eastern ingredients – hummus, tahini, chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, cabbage, pickled turnips, etc. – in my fridge and needed to use them up. I didn't have any pita, so I decided to combine these condiments with my other favorite food, pasta, and make a pasta salad. I couldn't stop eating it. It was like a deconstructed falafel, only with pasta instead of falafel – a.k.a. my dream meal. I recently found myself with a lot of the ingredients sitting in my fridge again, so I decided to recreate the recipe and add it to this blog. It also happens to be vegan!