Grilled Summer Veg with Creamy Sesame Dressing


Silken tofu is the magical miracle ingredient in this creamy mayo-less sesame dressing. If it sounds weird to blend tofu into a dressing….it’s not. It lends body and a subtle soy flavor that gets bolstered with sesame seeds, sesame oil, and garlic. As for the grilled vegetables, really, the world is your oyster here. I’ve suggested some green things that cook quickly and go well together but I’ve also used this dressing on grilled or roasted mushrooms, and drizzled over baked sweet potatoes, so don’t feel like you have to stick to the script. The recipe will yield twice as much dressing as you need and that’s intentional – no sense in busting out the blender for one meal.

Active Time: 45 Mins

Total Time: 55 mins



  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 lbs green summer vegetables (zucchini, asparagus, snap peas, scallions or green beans)
  • 1 lemon


  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ⅓ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Kosher salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper


  • 8 oz soft tofu

1. Make the creamy tofu sesame dressing:

  • In a small food processor or blender, combine 8 ounces soft tofu, 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds, 2 garlic cloves, ½ cup canola oil, ⅓ cup rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Blend or blitz until very creamy. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper - it should be noticeably peppery.
  • Finely grate the zest of half a lemon into the dressing and blitz once more. Set dressing aside.

2. Grill:

  • Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. If using zucchini, cut into ½” rounds or planks. Snip the ends of any green beans or peel the strings of snap peas, if using. Combine all the prepped veg (2 pounds total) in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of canola or olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Finely grate 2 more garlic cloves over the veg and toss to coat.
  • Arrange the veg on the grill and cook until charred in spots and softened but not mushy–you be the judge. Everyone likes their vegetables cooked to a different doneness. Get some good color and then start tasting.

3. Serve:

  • Spread some sesame sauce on a serving platter. Top with the grilled veg. Finely grate some more lemon zest over everything and squeeze the juice of the lemon over just before serving. Finish with more sesame seeds.

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