Tahini salad dressing made with crushed sesame seed paste, known as Tahini, lemons, garlic and a drizzle of olive oil makes the best dressing.
Use it for a sauce for salads, on sandwiches, tossed with roasted veggies and great for basting chicken on the grill!
What Is Tahini?
Until hummus became popular in America, most home cooks never heard of tahini. Having grown up with a Syrian mother, tahini was always in our pantry and required an hour drive into DC at a specialty market to buy. Not anymore. Even Trader Joes sells it!
Tahini is simply crushed sesame seeds. Crushed and pureed until they form a paste. Like nuts, there is oil in those seeds so you will also benefit from the nutritional sesame seed oil when you add tahini to your recipes.
Homemade tahini is so easy to make at just a fraction of the price of store bought tahini. I love knowing how fresh mine is rather than already made, not knowing how long it’s been in the jar, but that’s just me.
What Is Made With Tahini?
Hummus and Baba Ganoush is what we used tahini for in my home. Tahini is what makes both of these luscious dips… luscious! Its velvety texture adds the perfect smoothness to a dip.
But let’s not just think of tahini for savory dishes. I have made the most delicious cookies and ice cream with tahini but the real beauty is my Tahini Custard Pie! My now ‘famous’ Tahini Pie that I made on The Great American Recipe on PBS!
Oh My is it delicious. Tahini in the crust, tahini in the custard filling. Luscious!
What To Use Tahini Salad Dressing On
- Roasted veggies
- Soup stock
- Sandwich wraps
Origin Of Tahini
The origin of Tahini? My house! Hah! Just kidding. My mother was a first generation Syrian American. We always had weird food in our house, none of my friends had. So… I changed friends!
Once I started hanging out with friends from various Middle Eastern regions, Italians, Greeks and Iranians, my food seemed normal. Honestly… better too! In short; tahini was originally from each of these regions of the world and finally made its way to most American grocery stores.
While the convenience of buying a multitude of imported foods makes life easier now, I wouldn’t trade those long drives into DC as a kid with my family to the Middle Eastern markets for any convenience. Stories, memories, bonding took place in those inconvenient moments in life.
How To Make Tahini Salad Dressing
With a food processor, a blender or a good ole wire whisk, you can have tahini dressing whipped up in no time, store in the fridge for a few weeks and indulge in it on so many different recipes.
Tahini Dressing Options
While tahini dressing is really just a 4 ingredient fast and easy recipe, as we know, everyone has varied tastes. Personalizing this dressing is as easy as adding a few favorite flavors to it:
- Maple syrup, honey or agave added will satisfy those who like a touch of sweet in their dressing
- Fresh herbs are always my favorite addition, which is why I grow as many as I can
- Dried spices raise the bar on flavor by adding za’atar, cumin, smoked paprika or even the heat of red pepper flakes
- Mustard will add a bit more zing than the lemons will because of the vinegar in mustard
- Lemon juice
- Olive oi
- Blender or food processor
- Measuring cup
- Airtight container
Tahini Salad DressingCourse: Dressing, SauceCuisine: MediterraneanDifficulty: Easy
Mediterranean salad dressing made of sesame paste (tahini), lemon, garlic and olive oil.
Tahini – 1/2 cup
Lemon – juice from 2 lemons, about 1/4 cup
Olive oil – 1/4 cup
Garlic – 1 clove, crushed
Salt – to taste
Water – as needed for the consistency you want (optional)
Options – a pinch, mustard, za’atar, maple syrup, honey or even a splash of Harissa!
- Place all ingredients into a blender, food processor or in a deep but small bowl and use a wire whisk. Whisk vigorously until creamy. Ready to use or store in an air tight container.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Best served room temperature.