Tahini sauce is an amazingly versatile dressing that’s a perfect compliment to everything from sandwiches to rice, pasta, and even meat dishes. But one of its finest pairings is with fresh vegetables, which are transformed from ordinary to extraordinary with a flavorful tahini sauce dressing.
Tahini sauce is a thinner version of tahini paste, a traditional Middle Eastern dip made of ground sesame seeds. Classic tahini paste generally consists of just oil and sesame seeds, but tahini sauces often include garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, or other flavorings.
Here are three excellent tahini sauce recipes, all of which start with tahini paste. The paste is simple to make at home, but it is also readily available in most grocery stores, and either the homemade or store-bought version will work perfectly as a base for tahini sauce.
Tahini Garlic Sauce
- 1/4 cup tahini paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of olive or sesame oil
- juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
Heat the oil in a shallow pan and saute the garlic until soft but not browned. Add the tahini paste and stir until the mixture is a smooth, thick sauce. Add the lemon juice and soy sauce and stir well.
Suggested uses: serve over steamed cauliflower. Garnish with a little chopped parsley and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Blender Tahini Sauce
- 1/2 cup tahini paste
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon olive or sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons each of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and water
- 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
- pinch of salt, pepper to taste
Combine the tahini paste, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper in blender and process till smooth. Mix the water, lemon juice, and vinegar together and add gradually, processing till well mixed and the sauce is the desired consistency. Add the yogurt and process briefly till well mixed.
Suggested uses: Store refrigerated in a squirt bottle. Drizzle over greens as a salad dressing, use instead of mayonnaise as a condiment on sandwiches, or use as a dip for raw vegetables or toasted pita bread.
Lemon Tahini Sauce
- 1 cup tahini
- 1 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
- 1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 3 tablespoons minced parsley
- 1.2 teaspoon ground cumin
- a pinch each of cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, and black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Suggested uses: use chilled as a salad dressing; serve room temperature over baked potatoes.
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