>> Sunday, January 18
There are few plant materials I value as much as tahini when it comes to creating something truly decadent and flavorful. Tahini, crushed sesame seeds, is full of calcium and other nutrients, good fats, and when eaten with legumes helps to create a complete protein source. But that's not what sells me. It's the fact that with a sprinkling of water the thick nutty paste becomes an elegant, fluffy creme, unparalleled in the vegan world (except for maybe whipped cashews, those are fairly magnificent too).
The best testimony I can give on behalf of this dip/condiment/spread is that after tasting it for the first time, I hitchhiked for a good 3 hours and walked through all of Sofia, Bulgaria to reach the Women's Market where I could buy a huge jar for just a few dollars. For the next 3 months of traveling, a jar of tahini was always in my bag, and I ate some with almost every meal, in one form or another. I never felt so well-nourished roughing it on the road.
I had this particular tahini whip one night in Bulgaria, eating with Katz and Ian in their beautiful kitchen. We ate it on sesame oil and white bean salad, another recipe I will post my imitation of soon, and the combination was something like a supernova in my mouth. Really. This is so good. My friend was recently visiting after having been in Israel, and served the same thing to us next to hummus and fried eggs in sauteed tomatoes (I've forgotten the name). Again, I melted straight through the floor. Just one example of how versatile it can be.
Luscious Tahini Whip (Enough for...well, after you're left alone with the bowl for a few minutes, you'll just have to see how much is left)
- 1/2 cup tahini (organic and raw is my preference)
- juice of 1 whole lemon (+/- to taste)
- salt to taste
- 4 cloves fresh garlic (or more...)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- optional: paprika or zatar (a delicious tangy middle-eastern spice mix)
- Add a few spoons of water to the tahini and whip iwth a fork to combine. Even if it looks like it might curdle, just keep going, adding a little more water at a time, until it is fluffier than you thought it ever could be. You'll know.
- Slowly add the lemon juice, combining a little at a time.
- Add the oil, salt, (paprika if using), and garlic (pressed or finely chopped) and mix well.
- Garnish with zatar, toasted sesame seeds, or thyme