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With all the rich, hearty dishes that the colder months bring, it’s nice to have something bright and refreshing to remind us what fresh produce tastes like. This crisp fall green salad, from Whitney Otawka’s The Saltwater Table, is just that: light, crunchy and full of seasonal flavors, but with a Southern twist.
“Benne seed is sesame, and sesame is benne, for all practical purposes,” Otawka writes. “But it is important to note that even this humble little seed can taste different based on quality. If you find ‘benne’ seeds, odds are you are getting an heirloom variety.”
If you only have sesame seeds available, they’ll work in a pinch, but for the most authentic (and delicious) results, benne seeds are worth seeking out. “Anson Mills is my favorite producer of benne seeds,” Otawka says. “These plump little seeds have a pleasant nuttiness and a perfect little pop when eaten. I have been known to eat toasted benne by the spoonful.”
The dressing comes together easily in a blender, and its bright, complex flavor pairs fabulously with the bitter salad greens. And here we thought salads were just for summer.
From The Saltwater Table by Whitney Otawka, published by Abrams Books © 2019.
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