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“Tahini is something that runs in the veins of the people in the Middle East,” Chef Yotam Ottolenghi says. “It's like olive oil to southern Europe.”

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What Is Tahini?

Tahini is a Middle Eastern condiment made from toasted hulled sesame seeds, which are grounded to make the tahini paste. The paste is then mixed with a neutral-flavored oil to create a creamier texture.

How to Use Tahini Sauce

Tahini can be mixed with other ingredients like garlic and olive oil to make savory sauces, or even added to sweet dishes to balance flavor and add nutrients. Tahini is ubiquitous in Middle Eastern cooking and is a central ingredient to another vegan Middle Eastern delight—hummus. Yotam’s favorite brands come from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel—he likes to turn the plain paste into a versatile and velvety sauce that can be drizzled over fresh meat kebabs, mixed into a salad dressing and drizzled over chopped salads, roasted vegetables, and in falafel sandwiches.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Tahini Sauce Recipe

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Tahini Sauce Recipe

Makes
3/4 cup
Serves
4
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min

Ingredients

  • 60 grams tahini paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • A pinch of salt, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons water, plus 1 teaspoon water, or as needed
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the water in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Slowly add the water while whisking until the mixture is smooth and pourable. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  3. Set aside at room temperature if using soon, or refrigerate in a sealed container if making ahead. Tahini Sauce keeps in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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