Chinese Cabbage Salad with Chickpeas, Oranges, and a Citrus Tahini Dressing

A white square plate full of salad containing chickpeas, bok choy, red peppers, and orange slices covered with a tahini orange dressing. A copy of Lucky Peach is in the background.

I love the combination of oranges and cabbage or other robust greens, my grandma always added orange segments to coleslaw and my mom followed suit, The sweetness and the crunch, the saltiness and the astringency of the citrus dressing all come together to form one of the most perfect salad combinations ever. Tahini is an excellent way to make a creamy dressing without using dairy, as you whisk the dressing together it will become thicker and richer once the citrus juice is added. This dressing will keep for a few days in the fridge and will just need a quick blitz in the blender or whisk to make sure it’s fully emulsified. I love to use this dressing on  all sorts of salads as well as drizzled over brown rice goddess bowls with a healthy amount of added hot sauce (in fact, you can add hot sauce directly to the dressing for a wonderful sweet/spicy/salty/creamy addition to your salad). Eating this salad on a Saturday afternoon with my new edition of Lucky Peach in hand is pretty lovely, I can’t think of a better way to spend an hour or two.

chinese cabbage salad with chickpeas, oranges, and a citrus tahini dressing:

3 small Chinese cabbages, cut into fine ribbons

1 cup of chickpeas

1 red peppers, cut into a small dice

3 scallions, cut into thin slices

About half an English cucumber, sliced into thin quarter moons

4-5 fresh basil leaves, sliced into a fine chiffonade

A generous handful of fresh cilantro, leaves left intact

1 large orange, peeled and segmented with a knife – reserve all of the juice, giving the leftover orange parts a good squeeze before discarding

2 Tbsp. tahini

Juice of 1 small lemon

1 tsp. olive oil

Kosher salt to taste

  1. Toss the Chinese cabbage, chickpeas, red pepper, scallions, cucumber, fresh basil, cilantro, and orange segments in a large prep bowl until well combined.
  2. Whisk together the tahini, orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, and kosher salt until it forms a thick emulsion.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss again to coat. Serve as is or in a warm pita.

When Alt-J is good, they’re awfully pretty and wonderful (and then sometimes I find them kind of tedious). But this song is gorgeous and happily has a place on my most listened to playlist, the lyrics are most definitely TS Eliot/The Tempest inspired and earn a soft spot in my English literature loving heart.

Alt-J – Dissolve Me

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