The first time I tasted tahini sauce it was being served as a topping on felafel. People stood in an hour-long line at an art fair to place their order. Even then, you prayed the guy wouldn’t run out of food before you got to the front of the line. This was Bakersfield, CA, circa 1975. A young Israeli had imported the magic of Mediterranean flavors and he stood out like the Pied Piper of fast food.
Being a committed DIY-er, I quickly learned to make the component parts of his luscious meals, tahini sauce being a must. It all seemed so exotic and foreign. No longer! Tahini has become a pantry staple along with sesame seeds, pine nuts, dried garbanzo beans, and sumac. Keep the sauce around for sandwiches and dips. In its hard-working manner, it becomes a sauce for many occasions, great with any steamed or roasted vegetable, an excellent addition to a sandwich, and of course as a dip itself.
If you haven’t traveled that road yet, you are in for a treat.
The following recipe makes about 1 cup of tahini. You may want to double or triple the amounts, depending on your food plans. Or cut it in half without a problem.
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- a bit of warm water
- 1 teaspoon finely minced parsley
- Stir the tahini to fully incorporate the thick portion at the bottom of the jar.
- Measure the tahini into a small bowl or pint jar.
- Stir in the garlic, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Add warm water, a spoon at a time, to bring the sauce to the consistency you desire. This will depend on its final use.
- Stir in the minced parsley.
- Taste for salt and make any necessary adjustments.
Store in the refrigerator in a container with a tight-fitting lid. A pint mason jar works well. The sauce will be fresh and bright for about week and a half.