Like many, I gobbled up Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's cookbooks Plenty and Jerusalem. Plenty's spicy mango and cabbage slaw is a particular favorite of mine . . . So as soon as I heard that the duo would be releasing a US edition of Ottolenghi (their first cookbook), I preordered a copy. Fast-forward to over a year later when a mysterious package arrived on my desk. Inside was the best sort of surprise: the long-awaited, much-pined-over volume. I tabbed page after page (think sumac- and za'atar-crusted roast chicken and a salad of peaches paired with speck and orange water), but I kept flipping back to this tahini-drizzled eggplant recipe.
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 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! Now that I have all this leftover tahini, I'm thinking it calls for a batch of tahini cookies . . .
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.
- Condiments/Sauces, Other
- Makes one 10-ounce jar
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
I've sung pureed soup's praises before, and I'll sing them again: few foods are more satisfying, nourishing, and leftovers-friendly while still allowing room for experimentation and intrigue. This Middle Eastern spiced carrot soup is no exception. Creamy without using cream and garnished with all matter of excellent nibbles, it's the sort of soup that is worthy of a light meal in and of itself.
A quick word on the garnishes: I know what you're thinking: four components for one soup . . . isn't that a hair excessive? The short answer is no. Spiced chickpeas, a tahini-lemon dollop, dukkah, and parsley make the soup the lovely dish it is by providing loads of textural and flavor contrast, while adding minimal time and effort to the recipe.
Butter beans, a.k.a. large limas, are perfect for making a from-scratch hummus, because they cook very quickly — just about 45 minutes in gently boiling water. You can also use canned, of course, just as you would use canned chickpeas for hummus. I like the fact that butter beans are a Southern cooking staple, too. Try some!
Use your own favorite hummus recipe, or if you don't have one, here are some amounts to get you started.
YumSugar member girlA offers up a super speedy, three-ingredient dressing in The Dairy-Free Diva Recipe Exchange cooking group.
This dressing has the perfect combination of saltiness, creaminess and nutty flavor that would be great on salads, wraps, sandwiches, baked tofu, steamed veggies or as a veggie dip. It’s also a breeze to make. To see her recipe, read more.
Hit two birds with one stone — no pun intended — by cooking some sweet Spring asparagus in the oven along with the chicken. Serve it alongside pasta, potatoes, or brown rice. To have dinner ready in no time, read more.
Sometimes really disgusting-looking food tastes incredibly delicious. Take this tangy tahini pasta as an example. It looks like a mix between fresh vomit and a sick dog's poop — in other words, not very appetizing. However the ingredients are simple and ordinary: tahini, garbanzo beans, lemon juice, wholemeal pasta, red onions, etc. It looks blah, but probably tastes great. Although they say never judge a book by its cover, sometimes we all do. So I want to know, would you eat this pasta or is the picture too gross to stomach?
Typically used in Middle Eastern cooking, a thick paste made from ground sesame seeds that commonly seasons dips, sauces, spreads, and other dishes such as hummus. Its consistency is thinner than peanut butter and it can be found in health food stores and the ethnic section of most grocery stores. Tahini comes in a variety of forms from a sweetened darker version to fresh, in cans, in jars, or dehydrated.
You can buy hummus just about anywhere these days, but nothing compares to the taste when it's freshly made. And it's really easy to make — the hardest part is buying all of the ingredients.
What You'll Need:
- 1 can of garbanzo beans (chick peas)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced (you can always use more)
- 1 - 2 tbsp tahini (it's made out of ground up sesame seeds)
- Juice from 1/3 of a lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place all of the ingredients in a blender for a few minutes, or until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
Serve in a bowl with fresh vegetables and sliced pita bread. Or even better, try it with homemade pita chips. This would also be a great snack to have while watching the Super Bowl.
Fit's Tips: This is a basic recipe, so play around with it - add your own special ingredients like grated carrots or artichoke hearts.