tahini slaw

i’ve never liked the traditional coleslaw that is often served at bbqs, buffets and delis – shredded cabbage and carrot with a creamy dressing, usually mayonnaise of some sort. despite liking the idea, it’s yet to get past being disappointing. i’ve tried making my own, thinking that last minute assembly and homemade mayo might be the key – it wasn’t. lightening the dressing with yoghurt or crème fraiche also failed to win me over so i stuck to slaws with non-creamy dressings.

however, this tahini and greek yoghurt combination really hit the spot. i think it’s the nuttiness of the tahini, which also creates a really nice texture to the dressing - its not grainy but its definitely not silky smooth either. the lemon and herbs also help keep things fresh.

i based this on a recipe that proposed using it to top a chicken “burger” but given i was feeling nervous about how it would be, i kept mine on the side; and then went back for seconds. delicious.

chicken “burger” with herby tahini slaw*(serves 2)

2 ciabatta rolls

2 chicken breasts

3 tablespoons olive oil

zest and juice of ½ a lemon

½ a teaspoon dried chilli flakes)

1 teaspoon of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of tahini

½ a clove of garlic, crushed

4 tablespoons greek or natural yoghurt

¼ cabbage - i just used white but red cabbage would also be nice

1 large carrot

1 small shallot

handful each of roughly chopped fresh herbs – is used a mix of mint and coriander

rocket to serve

place the chicken breasts on a board covered with clingfilm, cover with more clingfilm and then hit the chicken very gently with a rolling pin so end up with a larger, thinner piece of meat – around 5mm thick. if it breaks, don’t worry, just try to get a consistent thickness.

place the chicken in a bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, oregano, chilli flakes and some salt and pepper. mix to coat the chicken and set aside – you can do this a few hours in advance.

slice the cabbage finely (about 2mm), grate the carrot and then slice the shallot as finely as possible.

make the dressing by combining the tahini, yoghurt and lemon juice with 1 tbsp olive oil. add the crushed garlic plus salt and pepper. mix together, adding a little water of the dressing is too thick. when you’re ready to serve, use this to dress the shredded vegetables, adding the herbs and mixing well to evenly distribute the dressing.

heat a frying pan over a moderate heat (hot enough to sizzle when you add the chicken) and add the chicken breast pieces. cook for about three minutes on each side, checking that they’re cooked all the way through. set aside to rest.

slice the ciabatta rolls in half and drizzle a little olive oil over the cut side (you may not need to do this – see how much oil and juices are left in the pan. while the chicken is resting place cut side down in the same frying pan and cook for a couple of minutes until golden.

assemble the burgers - a layer of rocket, then the chicken breast, followed by a generous amount of slaw and lastly the top half of the ciabatta.

* based on a recipe by katriona macgregor