Friday, January 6, 2012


This recipe would go in a category I call "why buy it when you can make it?"  Tahini is a sesame paste, made solely of toasted sesame seeds and oil.  You grind the mixture in a food processor and end up with tahini!  If you aren't familiar with tahini, it is an ingredient used mainly in Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern foods.  It has a consistency similar to natural peanut butter.  Most commonly for us it is used in hummus, which we love to make from scratch.  Tahini is a key ingredient in hummus and I used to buy it from the store for the very expensive price of $8 a jar!  It has much stronger flavor when you make it from scratch, and if you can find decently priced sesame seeds it is insanely cheap.  We get our sesame seeds from either the Hispanic or Japanese grocery stores because they have the best prices.   After our first time making tahini, we also used it for sesame cookies which were surprisingly tasty. 
2 cups sesame seeds (you can change this amount depending on how much you want to make)
1/3 cup olive oil 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Toast sesame seeds by placing them on a baking sheet or stone and cooking  for about 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted without browning.   If your sesame seeds are already toasted, I would still recommend toasting for an additional 3 minutes.  Let them cool slightly before continuing. 

Place sesame seeds in a food processor.  Pulse for 3-5 seconds.  Begin adding oil and continue to blend until the consistency has come to that of a natural peanut butter.  It should be smooth without being saucy.  The tahini I've purchased at the store is much smoother than this version, but in a food processor I think this is the closest you are going to get (and it won't make a difference in your recipe.)   Add a pinch or two of salt to bring out the flavor.  Done! Keep in a covered container at room temp for 4-5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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