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Justifying tahini

July 10, 2009

You know that feeling you get when you are reading through a recipe and run across an oddball ingredient?

You kind of stop.  Your eyes scan the recipe to the left, and then to the right

hoping you didn’t mistake that random ingredient for something much-less-random like flour or salt. You sigh.

Add the recipe to your list of want-to-make-but-won’t-get-around-to-it recipes.  Move on.  Find something to eat for dinner like Kraft Easy Mac.

Honestly, I spent at least 6 weeks debating the purchase of tahini, the essential ingredient for homemade hummus.

First: tahini is only found in a specialty store.  I already hit up 3 grocery stores/week to keep this house stocked.  And now I need to go to a 4th?  Really?
Second: The recipe called for 2 T tahini.  All this for 2 tablespoons?  Is it that essential?  Is the recipe worth spending $7 on this ingredient?
Third: It only comes in 16 oz containers.  What will I do with all this leftover tahini?

Decisions.  Decisions.  Finally, I broke down, and bought the tahini.  And ever since the purchase, I’ve been justifying its presence and incorporating it into many recipes. But I still haven’t made the hummus.  That would be the definition of ironic.

I have made the following recipes:

Zucchini Tahini Dip

Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad

and now this (certainly not the most photogenic item)…

Corn.  I used tahini to grow corn.


You didn’t fall for that, did you?

Yogurt Tahini Sauce (Deborah Madison)
I found this dressing grain on veggies – green beans, cucumbers -, lentils, and in cous cous salads.
1 garlic clove, smashed or ground with a pinch of salt
2 T tahini
1 cup yogurt
2 T lemon juice and zest of fresh lemon if using

Combine.  Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 10, 2009 6:20 am

    I think my problem is that I don’t stop for a second to think about the item I’m purchasing…which is why, when I packed up to move to Thailand, I had a giant bag of urad dal, a bottle of pomegranate molasses, a jar of brown rice syrup, and numerous other ingredients I’d only used a couple tablespoons of.
    This looks like a great use for tahini! (And I LOVE that chickpea salad…)

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