Look out, peanut butter: tahini is the new pantry spread of our dreams. This creamy, rich sesame seed butter gives a nutty appeal to desserts and savory depth to soups, sauces, and marinades. Call it liquid gold in a jar.

By Hannah Klinger
April 15, 2017
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Photo: Jennifer Causey

1. Tahini-Date Shake

Photo: Jennifer Causey

2. Tahini-Carrot Soup with Pistachios

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Elevate toast, grilled chicken, or ice cream instantly with a drizzle of tahini straight from the jar. Or go for our quick garlic-infused Tahini Sauce; it's great with grilled or roasted vegetables or meat.

3. Chocolate-Tahini Banana Bread

Photo: Jennifer Causey

4. Homemade Tahini Sauce

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Use this sauce to make a killer hummus. Blend it with a can of chickpeas, some water, olive oil, salt, and cumin until very smooth. We love it with toasted pita.

5. Tahini-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Cucumber-and-Tomato Salad

Photo: Jennifer Causey

6. Sesame-Ginger-Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Make sure to stir tahini well in the jar before you measure (it should be pourable). If the paste is still too thick, add a splash of water to the jar and keep stirring until the mixture is loose and smooth.

7. Lentil-Tahini Burgers with Pickled Cabbage

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Why does tahini turn to a gluey paste when liquid is added? Tahini is made of carbs, and carbs stick to water molecules like, well, glue. Keep slowly adding liquid and stirring; the sauce will start to absorb the liquid and smooth out.

 

How to Buy

Look for tahini that is smooth and pourable, with little separation. It should taste mild and nutty out of the jar; not sour or burnt. Three brands we love:

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

SEED + MILL
A buttery, velvety mouthfeel, slight tang, and clean finish. Treat like a finishing oil and enjoy on its own. $12 per 9-oz. jar; seedandmill.com

365 ORGANIC
Mild and smooth, with a slightly sweet finish. Sesame flavor comes through in dips and sauces. $6.39 per 16-oz. jar; Whole Foods

SOOM
Nicely thick, with no oil slick on top. Creamy, with toasty, faintly bitter yet balanced notes. Perfect for spreading. $8.25 per 11-oz. jar; amazon.com