Exploring tahini's many uses

smashed cucumbers with tahini dressing 

Most people know tahini for its role in hummus, but the sesame seed paste delivers flavor and texture to a multitude of foods. Indexed magazine Saveur takes a closer look at tahini, including which brands are best and how you can use it in a variety of recipes. 

Although the word 'tahini' can refer to a sauce made with sesame seed paste, Saveur focuses on the paste itself. You might only be familiar with one type of tahini, but there are a few different styles. The article focuses on two basic types: light tahini, which is ivory colored and has a loose texture, and dark tahini, made from toasted or naturally darker sesame seeds. Dark tahini has a coarser and thicker texture, plus a slightly bitter flavor. 

The article provides a guide to choosing, using, and storing tahini. One useful tip is to avoid using a food processor with tahini, as "the speed of the motor will often cause the paste to seize up and become chunky or oddly textured," although they provide a fix if this happens to you. Saveur  offers suggestions on ways to use both types of tahini. For light tahini, they recommend using it in familiar dishes such as hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva, as well as making sauces for seasoning roasted vegetables or for topping meats. Tahini-based dressings are also great for cold salads like tabbouleh or for drizzling over falafel. 

Dark tahini has an affinity for chocolate and is often used in baked goods like brownies. It's also great for drizzling on grilled meats or roasted potatoes. The EYB Library contains over 2,300 online recipes using tahini, like these Member favorites:

Smashed cucumbers with cumin tahini from The New York Times by Julia Moskin and Danny Bowien (pictured above)
Roasted butternut squash & red onion with tahini & za'atar from Jerusalem  by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Tahini-dressed courgette and green bean salad from River Cottage Veg Every Day!  by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Red lentil hummus from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson
Spiced chickpea wraps with tahini dressing from Thug Kitchen
Chilli chocolate fudge cake from The Guardian by Dan Lepard
Black tahini chocolate cookies from BBC Good Food Magazine by Cassie Best 

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