A couple of months ago, we featured a recipe for Hummus from Scratch and we received a lot of great feedback about it! One of the essential elements in a good hummus recipe is Tahini, but it works very well in many recipes so this month we’ll return to the middle East and expand on a home made Tahini recipe and the many things you can do with it. The prime ingredient in Tahini, of course, is this month’s farmstand special, Hulled Sesame Seeds.
HOME MADE TAHINI
Tahini is essentially a sesame paste (or butter), similar in nature to peanut butter or almond butter. Primarily, it involves pureeing sesame seeds together with olive oil as a base. From here, it can be taken in many directions but that is the essentials.
Hulled Sesame Seeds
Olive Oil (*sesame oil or peanut are alternative options)
Salt, Lemon Juice (both optional to taste).
Roasting the sesame seeds first enhances the flavor and aroma of the finished tahini. In a cast iron skillet or frying pan, roast the sesame seeds for 5 min until golden brown. *If they turn dark brown they are getting overcooked.* Make sure to move them around in the skillet to help spread the heat and roast the seeds more evenly. Let cool.
Using a food processor or other method (mortar and pestle is great for this small amount), mash the roasted seeds together with olive oil until you achieve a paste-like consistency. The reason we did not list specific amounts in the ingredients list is that amounts can vary depending on the desired consistency. Often, a smoother texture can be achieved by mashing the roasted sesame seeds throroughly before beginning to incorporate the liquid. Salt and Lemon juice can be added to taste- but would often be added as the tahini is used for other recipes (see below). There you have it, pictured below, home made Tahini Paste. The real question now is, where do we go from here?
Tahini is very versatile. It can be used as a base for a myriad of salad and sandwich dressings. Some options include tahini honey dressing with garlic, lemon tahini dressing, and tahini bean spread with cooked beans. Improvise!
Tahini is also a delicious addition to roasted vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, or sweet peppers. Simply brush them with tahini while roasted, and the texture and nutty flavor really enhances the veggies
One of our personal favorites in the classic Shawarma sauce. This sauce is an excellent addition to any sandwich and can be made to taste as you prefer. Tahini, lemon juice, chopped garlic, and salt are added until preffered taste and texture are reached. Extra oil can be added if need be. The lemon and garlic add a kick that comes through in anything it is put on. A real gem.
As you can see, home made tahini is one of those simple things that can really add a lot to existing favorites, and make some new ones. Enjoy!