While everyone I know seems to be on an almond butter kick, one of my favorite peanut butter alternatives is tahini. Spread on toast, as a dip for 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 their 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!

Homemade Tahini

Homemade Tahini

Homemade Tahini Recipe

Ingredients

8 ounces (about 1 cup) brown sesame seeds, like Bob's Red Mill
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, like Lucini, plus more if needed
Salt, to taste

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.