If you have ever bought tahini for a special recipe, you may still have the rest of the jar sitting in your fridge or on the shelf waiting for the next time you feel inspired to experiment. But tahini is not a seed butter to be ignored.
Tahini makes delicious dressings, creamy soups, scrumptious sweets and excellent entrées. But knowing how to choose the right variety, store it properly and integrate it into dishes is important. So here are the keys to discovering the talents of tahini.
How tahini is made
I always enjoy learning a bit about how something is made before I go out and buy it, and food is no exception.
Traditionally, tahini is made by soaking sesame seeds overnight, after which they are crushed in order to separate the bran (the hull) from the seed. The crushed seeds are then put into a mix of salt and water, which allows the bran/hulls to sink and the seed kernels to float to the top of the water where they can be skimmed off. After this they are either immediately ground (for a hulled raw tahini) or toasted and then ground into a paste.
Some tahini is also left unhulled as well, This variety is more bitter then its hulled counterpart, but more nutritious.
Next: Different varieties of tahini, more than a matter of taste