While everyone I know seems to be on an almond butter kick, one of my favorite peanut butter alternatives is tahini. Spread on toast, dipped in apples, and used in my favorite vegan alfredo sauce, tahini has many versatile applications beyond homemade hummus.
Making it couldn't be easier. The trick is toasting the seeds prior to processing, which bolsters the seeds' natural nuttiness, lending a complex, toasted flavor that's reminiscent of browned butter. Just be sure to diligently set your kitchen timer and check the seeds often, because they burn fast! Now that I have all this leftover tahini, I'm thinking it calls for a batch of tahini cookies . . .
From Anna Monette Roberts, YumSugar
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sesame seeds
1/4 cup olive oil, more if needed
Salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread sesame seeds on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet, and bake for 6 minutes. Mix and respread sesame seeds, and return to oven for 6 to 8 minutes more, or until sesame seeds are fragrant and golden brown. Immediately transfer toasted seeds to a separate bowl to prevent carryover cooking.
- Add sesame seeds to the bowl of a food processor and grind for 1 minute, or until seeds have broken down. While processor is on, drizzle in olive oil, and continue to grind for 1 or 2 minutes more, or until a smooth paste forms. If mixture is too dry, then add more olive oil, 1 teaspoon at a time. Season to taste. Transfer tahini to a mason jar, and store in the fridge for up to one month.
Makes one 10-ounce jar.