I love tahini. In terms of viscosity it is more runny than peanut butter, but you can still use tahini in almost any way that you’d use peanut (or any other nut) butter. Nowadays, kids aren’t able to bring peanut butter to school due to the danger of severe allergic reactions, so tahini is a great substitute in the lunch bag classic, a PB and J sandwich.
Outside of North America, you’ll find this ingredient in a lot of dishes in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Used for grilled meats, desserts and more, the paste made from crushed sesame seeds has a lot of health benefits, being chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, calcium and other minerals. Because of its various health properties, it’s definitely a pantry staple for people on vegan diets, but not as common with the everyday omnivore.
You’ll almost always find tahini in a traditional hummus, so take this recipe as a hummus-inspired dip, just kicked up a notch. Aside from dipping vegetables or fresh pita into this dip, it’s also great as a spread on sandwiches or shaken up with some extra oil and vinegar and used as a salad dressing.
Also, just a little kitchen trick I love to use when I need to get the peel off of a lemon or two: use a sharp vegetable peeler and gently peel off the outer layer. Especially if you’re going to be pureeing it, it’s much easier than grating the peel into a little pile and taking the risk of scraping your hand on the grater or Microplane – I hate when that happens!
2 cups cooked lima beans
1/3 cup tahini
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons white wine wine vinegar
12 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, loosely chopped
1. Place the first 7 ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times.
2. Continue to pulse while adding the oil and lemon juice until a fine paste forms.
3. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in remaining ingredients.
4. Garnish with a few parsley leaves and finish off with a drizzle of olive oil.
5. Keep cold in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Will keep for up to 1 week.
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