Growing up in Israel, Tahini (Tehina) was everywhere and in everything .
What is it, you ask? It's a paste made from sesame seeds that are roasted and then pressed. Most people in the U.S. only associate Tahini with Hummus but it's much more versatile than that. It's creamy, nutty, and rich and pairs well as a marinade for meats and fish alike. It's also an easy salad dressing, a dip, sauce for the grill or roasted vegetables, and a surprisingly delightful ingredient in desserts.
In recent years, more and more people have discovered its versatility in paleo cooking and many chefs have made it a staple in their kitchens.
Some facts about the benefits of Tahini:
High in unsaturated fat (the good fat!)
Unlike most peanut butters, tahini does not have any sugar
A great source of nutrients including calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B1, and fiber
A great alternative for those with nut allergies
Here is a roundup of a few of our favorite applications and recipes:
Before I share these, a word of caution: working with tahini requires that you carefully watch its consistency: too many liquids and the tahini will be too runny, too little liquid and you'll find yourself trying to use a thick paste, so play around with it, don't be afraid to mess up, and most importantly ENJOY.
Our dad used to make us a simple snack of tahini drizzled with honey on bread: it was definitely a crowd pleaser:
Take a piece of your favorite bread, toast it, smear some tahini and drizzle with honey. YUM. (get crazy here: add bananas, berries, apples, whatever makes you happy).
Tahini Cinnamon Toast:
See above: after spreading the tahini, sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar, then drizzle with some honey.
Zahav's Basic Tehina Sauce:
This tehina is the basis for Chef Michael Solomonov's out of this world Hummus Tehina, but you can also use it as is as a dip, sauce, or marinade.
Chocolate Tahini Date Bites:
You had me at Chocolate, but then add in some dates, coconut and some and walnuts? These bites are heavenly. And did you know that Soom Foods also has a chocolate tahini?
To learn more about the three sisters behind Soom Foods, head over to How Do You Jew.