Kalamata Tahini Dressed Salad
This is a healthy, flavorful meal that packs well for lunch and can be made ahead of time. It’s also great for work lunches.
For the chicken:
- 2 tablespoons Za’atar spice blend (see below)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3 lbs total)
4 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
Chicken thighs are a healthier option than chicken breasts. They’re lower in fat, and they have more flavor. Bone in chicken thighs can be more flavorful if you marinate them overnight with lemon and garlic, but I prefer to just season them with salt, pepper and olive oil (or coconut oil).
Za’atar spice mix
Za’atar is a spice mix made of sesame seeds, dried thyme and sumac. It’s available in most supermarkets or you can make your own by mixing the ingredients together. If you can’t find za’atar on your market shelf, look for another Middle Eastern seasoning that includes sesame seeds; these will be just as good if not better than what you’ll find at a grocery store!
1/4 cup olive oil
Olive oil is a good source of vitamin E, which helps maintain healthy skin. It can also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Salt and pepper to taste
How much salt and pepper to use depends on personal taste, but I like a nice balance of both. If you’re using store-bought chicken breast, then just season them with salt and pepper before cooking. If you’re using skinless boneless chicken thighs (or other meat), then there’s no need to do this step—just sprinkle some salt over the meat while it’s still raw or else put everything into its own bowl before mixing together!
For the salad:
- Cut the cucumber and tomatoes in half lengthwise, then slice them into thin pieces.
- Cut the feta cheese into small cubes or triangles.
- Wash arugula thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel; remove any large stems (they can be used for stock).
- To make dressing: whisk together olive oil, tahini paste, lemon juice, salt & pepper until smooth; add water if needed to thin out mixture slightly (you will need about 3 tablespoons total).
3 oz. arugula
Arugula is a leafy green that’s often used in salads and sandwiches. You can buy arugula at most grocery stores, or you can grow it yourself! It’s best to harvest arugula when it’s young and tender—but not too young or tender, because then it will be too soft for your salad. Check out our article on how to harvest arugula for more information about this delicious food source.
1 cup diced cucumber (about 1 small cucumber)
- 1 cup diced cucumber (about 1 small cucumber)
- 4 tablespoons Za’atar seasoning, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (about 2 plum tomatoes)
To dice tomatoes, cut the tomato in half and then cut each half into quarters. You can then slice these pieces into wedges or leave them whole.
a few Kalamata olives, sliced
Olives are a great source of healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants. They’re also full of flavor, so they make an excellent addition to any salad.
feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
Feta cheese is a Greek cheese, but you can use any variety of crumbled feta.
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on top of salad. If you’re not into oil-based dressings, use water instead!
2 tablespoons Tahini paste
Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It has a nutty flavor and can be used to make hummus, or in this recipe as well.
3 tablespoons water
It’s important to use water, as it will help keep your dressing from becoming thick and pasty. Water also helps the chicken stay moist. It’s equally important to use lemon juice because it adds a sour flavor that complements the salty Kalamata tahini dressing perfectly.
Flavorful meal that packs well for lunch
This is a healthy, flavorful meal that packs well for lunch and can be made ahead of time. It’s also great for work lunches. This recipe is a great example of Greek cuisine, which is known for being simple yet elegant and flavorful at the same time. If you want to make this dish in bulk, double or triple the quantities below to feed a larger group!
The chicken and salad are equally delicious, but we’re partial to the chicken. The Za’atar spice mix adds a nice depth of flavor to the dish, and it pairs well with the arugula. If you want some extra protein in your meal, try topping it off with crumbled feta cheese before serving!