I was never quite happy with the hummus and baba ganoush coming out of my kitchen until I decided to take tahini into my own hands. Making it is actually really simple. I've never looked back to the bottled stuff.
Tahini is a paste of Middle Eastern origin made from grinding sesame seeds and oil together. The common version you'll find at most groceries is made from hulled sesame seeds, which produces a very smooth paste, while at home, unhulled seeds are used, which gives the tahini more texture, and I think delivers a stronger nuttiness that defines the flavor of this sauce.
The final paste has a thick, peanut butter-like consistency and can be used as is, although you're more likely to use it in other sauces and marinades. The homemade tahini will outshine anything you get in stores.
- 2 cups sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more as necessary
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sesame seeds in a rimmed sheet pan and cook until lightly toasted toast, but not browned, about 5 minutes, tossing seeds ever couple of minutes with a spatula. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Place sesame seeds in workbowl of a food processor with olive oil. Process until smooth and paste as consistence slightly thinner than peanut butter, adding more oil if necessary. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.