Think of tahini as a savory relative of your favorite nut butters. It’s toasted sesame seeds ground into a creamy paste, and it comes packaged much like peanut or almond butter. Use it in salad dressings, homemade hummus, dips or sauces for a punch of salty, nutty flavor, or use it like peanut butter when baking: Swirl it into brownies, bake it into cookies or drizzle it over a sweet dessert.
Recipe: Creamy Tahini Salad Dressing
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons cold water, more as needed
Directions: Combine olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined. Add the cold water and whisk again. Add more pepper to taste. Add more cold water, if desired, to reach a thinner consistency.
How to enjoy it
Drizzled over roasted carrots or cauliflower.
On a salad with leafy greens, grilled chicken, avocado and feta cheese.
Toss into broccoli slaw.
Use as dressing for a Caesar salad with salmon.
Add to glaze for chicken wings.
Make Your Own
You can find pre-made tahini at your grocery store, but if you’d rather make your own, you’re in luck. Whipping up a batch of homemade tahini is easy and requires only three ingredients.
What You’ll Need:
1 cup hulled sesame seeds
2 to 4 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil (olive oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil)
Pinch of salt
How to Make it:
Start by toasting your sesame seeds in a dry saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until they have just started to change color. Remove from heat. Add sesame seeds to the bowl of a food processor then process until a crumbly paste forms, about 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons of oil and process for 2 to 3 minutes more, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the food processor a couple times. When finished, tahini should be smooth and pourable. You may need to process for another minute or add additional tablespoon of oil. Once tahini reaches proper consistency, add salt to taste. Process another 5 to 10 seconds to mix it in. You can store tahini for up to one month in the refrigerator.