Tahini Might Be the Most Versatile Condiment in My Kitchen
It's a bold statement — but hear me out.
Tahini was always one of those ingredients that I'd buy specifically to make a big batch of hummus and then would stash away in the back of my cabinet until I got the hankering for a taste of homemade hummus again. Tahini, the OG seed butter, is a staple ingredient in the Middle East made from ground sesame seeds. I knew that this creamy condiment had a sweeter side because my mom loves halva, the classic Middle Eastern sesame dessert, but after tasting the tahini milkshakes at Goldie in Philly, I had to eat all of the things investigate further uses.
Obvious choice? Yes. But it never hurts to have a recipe for homemade hummus handy. Especially Ina's version that calls for canned chickpeas, because no one ever remembers to presoak the dried variety.
Over the summer I get regular deliveries of way too much fresh eggplant from my dad's garden. Babaganoush, a Middle Eastern dip, is by far the best way to use up the excess eggplant. And who doesn't love a lighter snack option that still tastes indulgent?
I put Molly Yeh's simple tahini dressing on pretty much everything. Aside from salads, it's also great on roasted vegetables, like in this grain bowl that I make for my weekday lunches. Tahini's quirk is my favorite feature for meal prep: After you mix the salad dressing together, store in the fridge, where it will thicken up as it sits. You just need to thin out with a little bit of water (or lemon juice) when you go to dress your salad. That way I know it won't leak all over my lunch bag and just thin it out before I eat lunch.
This beautiful brain-child of Food Network Kitchen takes the best of halva and drops it in banana bread. Tahini helps keep this bread moist and adds a nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with bananas. Your mornings are going to thank you for this make-ahead breakfast.
I love purchasing meat in bulk, dropping most of it in the freezer and not having to worry about hitting the grocery store mid-week. The downfall? Coming up with many, many ways to use specific cuts of meat. These steak pitas take about 30 minutes to make and save my family from eating the same simply broiled flank steak too many times in a row.
The next-best thing to grabbing falafel, fries and a tahini milkshake at Goldie is making Molly's take on the tahini shake at home. Hers isn't vegan (like Goldie's), but I bet you could sub in some vegan ice cream and milk if you so choose.
We couldn't talk about tahini without mentioning falafel, right? I like making baked falafel at home — it still comes out crispy, but lighter than the fried variety that I get when I'm out to eat.
Jeff Mauro's 5-star shawarma might seem intimidating, but you probably have most of the ingredients already in your pantry. In the morning I'll put the marinated chicken in the fridge, so I can come home from work and get the rest of the meal ready to go in just about 30 minutes.