Monday, August 16, 2010

Tahini




So a while ago Jeremy and I got a chance to go out for dinner just the two of us, no kiddos, and Jeremy decided to take me to Tin Angel. It was wonderful. We shared the local platter appetizer which included, among other things, cornbread crostini and sweet potato hummus. Ever since that night I have been craving it. So finally this past Friday, since it doesn't look like we will be visiting the Tin Angel any time soon, I decided I was going to make it myself. A quick look in the cupboards showed I had all the ingredients save one. Tahini.

Now, we live pretty close to Nashville but we do NOT live in one of the ethnically middle eastern areas. I know from experience that the grocery stores around here do not carry tahini nor have the people who work there even heard of it before. The last time I went looking for tahini the conversation went something like this:

me: "Excuse me do you know if you carry tahini?"

grocery worker: "ta what?"

me: "tahini"

grocery worker: "What?"

me: "ta - he - knee"

grocery worker: "What's that?"

me: "It's a paste made of sesame seeds."

grocery worker: blank stare

me: "Sesame seeds? It's paste made from them, you use it to make hummus..."

grocery worker: "What's hummus?"

me: "It's like a dip made from chickpeas."

grocery worker: blank stare...crickets chirp...paint dries

me: *sigh* "I miss Seattle."

grocery worker: "what did you miss?"

me: "Nothing, thanks for your help."

So my options are to drive 15 minutes north to a store that might have tahini, drive 30 minutes south to a store that probably does have tahini or google homemade tahini and take my chances. Taking into account the fact that it is about a bagillion degrees outside and my car's A/C isn't working I decided on the last option. I looked at 5 or 6 different homemade tahini recipes and they all had different ratios of sesame seeds to olive oil but the process was the same. So I decided to just dive in and wing it.

First you place the sesame seeds in a sauté pan over medium heat (here's what they start off looking like).



and toast them until they turn golden brown, pull off immediately and let cool. (here's how dark mine got).



I was just barely on this side of burnt so I would definitely not let them go as long next time.

Once they are toasted just put them in a food processor and begin to process them drizzling olive oil in a little at a time until a paste of medium thickness comes together. Scrape down the sides of the processor thoroughly to make sure everything is evenly blended. I used all mine up that night but I read you can keep it in the fridge tightly covered for up to a week.

5 comments:

  1. haha :) Kroger up here sells tahini...I bought a big jar of it a long time ago to make hummus...and decided that I hate the taste of it. wish I still had the jar to give you - I passed it off to another friend.

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  2. That's too funny, I kind of liked the taste of this tahini better then the store bought kind. It wasn't as strong, but more flavorful... if that makes sense.

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  3. I did not know that tahini was just 2 ingredients. Anyway, don't stop there. How do you make sweet potato hummus? That sounds really good.

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  4. Awesome! Nice work on the homemade tahini. Guess all those years in Nicaragua making EVERYTHING from scratch continues to pay off. Remember waiting hours for the dim sum? :)

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  5. Steph - wow!!! That brought back some memories!!! Waiting SO LONG for food :) We had such a great time when you guys were down there. I miss living down the road from you!

    Lorna - it's coming soon! I just need to edit the picture.

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