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.
1. Tahini-Date Shake
2. Tahini-Carrot Soup with Pistachios
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
4. Homemade Tahini Sauce
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
6. Sesame-Ginger-Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
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
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:
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
Mild and smooth, with a slightly sweet finish. Sesame flavor comes through in dips and sauces. $6.39 per 16-oz. jar; Whole Foods
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