This Tahini Sauce really only takes five minutes to create. Like, I’m not even lying. I mean, not that I usually lie about prep times. That’s not what I do. It’s just so simple and quick, that reading this will take longer than making it. But, I know you’ll still read this because you and I? We’re besties. I’ll attempt to make it brief, but you know I like to talk.
Tahini (or Tahina) is basically sesame butter. Specifically, it is soaked, hulled, and toasted sesame seeds that have been ground to a paste. You can either make it yourself, or purchase it already in its buttery-smooth form. I prefer the latter, although making it is as simple as pulsing a whole mess of toasted sesame seeds to a paste. My preferred brand of tahini is Prince (pictured). One of the primary reasons I love this particular brand is because it’s actually produced in the region where this food came into existence. Now, I’m a die-hard fan of the US of A, but I can’t be trusting no tahini made in a Detroit warehouse.
Good tahini shouldn’t taste bitter. Bitterness is typically the result of a manufacturer that doesn’t hull the sesame seeds prior to roasting and grinding. And while most tahinis, when consumed in large quantities, tend to have an acrid taste, a well-produced one should have a smoot, nutty aftertaste.
The first step in preparing your tahini sauce is finding a brand that you love. Again, my golden child is Prince Tahini, but choose one you like for yourself. You’re doing all of this in your blender. Simple, and minimal dishes? I deserve a Best Friend of the Year Award, no? Put your peeled garlic cloves into the blender with some kosher salt. The garlic being this close to the blades, as opposed to sitting atop a buffer of the other ingredients, will ensure the garlic gets ground up well.
Now add the tahini paste, followed by the lemon juice, a bit of olive oil, and some water.
Finally, add chopped cilantro and this Middle Eastern Spice Blend.
Blend for one minute.
Scrape down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula and add a bit more water if the sauce appears too thick. The consistency should be that of ketchup: thick, but still pourable. Add the water a tablespoon at a time so as not to thin it out too much. Blend again for one minute.
Pour the sauce into a bowl and sprinkle with a bit of chopped cilantro.
Serve it with a few slices of toasted pita, pita chips, or this Egyptian-Style Falafel. That. Is. It!
Pin this for quick reference; then take five minutes to make this zingy dip!
This lemony-garlic sesame sauce is the perfect accompaniment for all of your Middle Eastern mezze dishes.
- 3 garlic cloves peeled
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup tahini paste stirred well
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water plus more for thinning out
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp Middle Eastern Spice Blend
Place the garlic cloves into the blender with the salt. Add the tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice, and the water. Finally, add the cilantro and the Middle Eastern Spice Blend.
Blend for one minute. Scrape down the blender and add a tablespoon of water if it appears too thick. The consistency should be that of ketchup: thick, but still pourable. Add the water a little at a time so as not to thin it out too much. Blend again for one minute.
Pour the sauce into the bowl and sprinkle with a bit of chopped cilantro. Serve with a few slices of toasted pita, pita chips or these Egyptian-Style Falafel.
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