The most basic way to enjoy tahini’s nutty flavor is to prepare a dip. It takes only a few minutes and requires no special equipment. Once you have made it at home using the best raw tahini, y'ou will never again touch the ready-made variety. Serve the dip with warm pita bread, alongside hummus dishes, meze salads, falafel, and the like.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1 cup top quality raw tahini
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
Salt to taste
Whisk all the ingredients in a large bowl and gradually add ice-cold water. Don’t be alarmed when the first bit of water makes the paste thick and lumpy. Keep whisking and adding liquid and the mixture will get thinner and silky smooth. The amount of water depends on the desired consistency: 1/2 cup for a thick tahini dip, 1 cup or even a bit more for a thin sauce suitable for pouring over vegetables or falafel.
Green Tahini Dip Add 1/2 cup parsley, 1/4 cup coriander and 14 cup mint, all chopped, to the basic tahini dip recipe.
Nutty Tahini Dip Add 1/2 cup coarsely ground pistachio nuts or walnuts to the basic tahini dip recipe.
For More Substantial Quantities Use a blender. Bear in mind that blending heats the tahini, so use ice cubes instead of water. This will keep the tahini white and ensure a pleasant, stable texture.
photo: Daniel Laila