Sweet Tahini Vinaigrette with Grilled Romaine

Since I was a kid, I have loved tahini dressing and have had it on salad, falafel, sweet potatoes, grilled vegetables and noodles.  Even though I have had it on so many foods, the basic recipe has always remained the same: tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  That is why I was super excited to try Chase Sobelman’s Sweet Tahini Vinaigrette recipe at the recent Mediterranean Diet Roundtable in June.  Chase is the Managing Director and Executive Chef of Yale Hospitality at Yale University in New Haven, CT.  Chase and her staff provided the conference with the most amazing spread of delights from a breakfast of shakshuka, smoked white fish and a warm quinoa bowl to lunch with gourmet open faced sandwiches (seared tuna with fennel and tapenade; broccoli rabe with roasted eggplant; and Mediterranean chicken salad with cucumber and apricot yogurt just to name a few); along with a Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Gremolata and Citrus Vinaigrette.  There were so many delightful foods at the conference, but one of my favorites was a simple grilled romaine with a sweet tahini dressing.  I had never had a tahini dressing with sweetness and I loved it!  Chase shared this recipe with us and I am happy to share them with you.

Before a few days ago, I had never grilled romaine lettuce before.  It was very easy to do and made an incredible base for the tahini dressing.  We just cut the lettuce in half lengthwise, brushed it with some olive oil and grilled both halves on a hot grill cut side down.  It doesn’t take long for the lettuce to sear, but you want to make sure the lettuce is slightly charred before removing it from the grill.  If the grill is hot enough, it should take only about 45 seconds to a minute.  You can grill the other side as well (briefly) just to lightly wilt the lettuce.  If you are grilling a lot of food, I would grill the romaine last so you can serve it right away with the sweet tahini dressing.  I think you will find it to be a hit.   Thank you Chase for sharing this awesome with us!

baby romaine with tahini vinaigrette

Sweet Tahini Vinaigrette with Grilled Romaine

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 8
Calories 226 kcal


  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sumac
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 


  • 1-2 heads small heads of romaine lettuce (baby romaine)
  • Olive oil for brushing


  • Add garlic to blender or food processor. Chop until minced. Add rest of ingredients (except for olive oil). Blend until all ingredients are pureed.
  • On a low speed, slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil. Once blended, you can serve or refrigerate.
  • Cut romaine in half lengthwise. Grill each half cut side down on a hot grill until the lettuce begins to char, usually about 45 seconds to a minute. You can grill the other side, but don't half to. Remove immediately, top with dressing and serve.