Recipe: Sweet and Salty Tahini Crunch Greens

A bonus recipe from Anna Jones' first cookbook, A Modern Way to Eat, which includes over 200 vegetarian recipes. 

Kara Rota
3-minute read

This is a recipe that changes as the seasons roll by. I like to have a plate of greens on the table most evenings. Ordinarily they are quickly blanched and simply dressed with lemon zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Serves 4

Here, spritely greens are bright, sweet, and salty; nuts and seeds bring layers of flavor and crunch, while the dressing is a happy blend of deep earthy tahini, zippy lemon, and warm woody maple sweetness. This is a dish that delivers on every level. I often make a double batch of the seeds and keep some for snacking on throughout the day because they are so good.

Below I’ve suggested greens to use through the year, but feel free to switch things up. I like to keep my greens vivid green with a bit of crunch—to me, cooking them for longer than a minute spoils their character. This way fewer of the nutrients seep into the water too. Follow the timings given below for different greens. 

FOR  THE  GREENS  4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

4 tablespoons pistachio nuts

1 tablespoon maple syrup

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound/500 g mixed seasonal green vegetables (see seasonal options below)



2 tablespoons tahini

juice of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

SEASONAL  OPTIO NS  Spring  · purple sprouting broccoli (40 seconds) and asparagus (60 seconds) Summer  · green beans (40 seconds) and broccoli (40 seconds) Autumn · shredded sprouts (30 seconds) and winter greens (30 seconds) Winter  · purple sprouting broccoli (40 seconds) and kale (30 seconds)


Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C.

Put the seeds and nuts on a baking tray, pour over the maple syrup, and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Toss so that everything is coated in the syrup, then roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to cool a little. While the seeds and nuts are roasting, make your dressing by mixing all the ingredients together in a little bowl or jar with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Next, blanch your greens in a big pot of boiling water. See the timings (above) for each one. Once your greens are blanched, drain them and place in a serving bowl or on a platter. Pour over the dressing and toss everything to coat, then top with the roasted seeds and nuts and serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from A Modern Way to Eat: 200+ Satisfying Vegetarian Recipes by Anna Jones, copyright © 2015 Brian Ferry. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Photography credit: Aya Brackett © 2014.

About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.