Sea Salt & Olive Oil Tahini

by Maja Lukic

At this point, I've basically given up any semblance of regular updates. My visits here are infrequent but, I hope, still worthwhile somehow? It's a freeing thing, letting go of obligations. I mean, nothing makes me happier than canceling an event or saying no. But lest you think that all I do now is sit around drinking tea, eating grapes, and reading Knausgaard (though on many nights, that is quite literally all I do), let me inform you that I've been up to some things. 

For example, my talented friend Scott just launched a magazine--it's called Boxy Mag and it's fantastic. You should absolutely bookmark it and then do the requisite social media liking/following. The content changes regularly (unlike my blog) and it's always varied and interesting, informative and occasionally irreverent. The inaugural October issue was dedicated to food, but future issues may delve into fashion, art, life in the city, etc. I had a breakfast recipe feature recently, which you can check out here

In any event, I'm still writing my way through several projects, running off to workshops, loitering at coffee shops and bookstores as if I'm actually working on something epic, and generally cavorting in the last few breaths of warm air. So this will be a quick update. 

This homemade tahini is essential to me. If you're accustomed to the store-bought version, this is a slightly different beast. The flavor is different. This version is saltier, but also, store-bought tahini sometimes leaves a lingering bitter aftertaste--not so with its homemade counterpart, which has a well-rounded, creamy feel. The formula is dead simple and the process of making it is even kind of meditative--toasting the pale raw seeds, processing the cooled seeds into a rough marzipan-textured paste, and then drizzling in fragrant olive oil until the seeds are spun into silky, smooth tahini. Okay, it's about as meditative as any food processor project, but I do kind of like the metamorphic aspect of recipes like this. Also, I'm easily entertained. 

And now that you're all set with a jar of homemade tahini, may I direct you to a few excellent uses for it? A salad or hummus are respectable starting points. But if you're into bolder experimentation, try one of these delicious recipes:

Roasted squash with lemon tahini sauce

Goji ginger tahini cream

Raw tahini cups with coffee cream filling 

Because Ottolenghi.

Sea Salt & Olive Oil Tahini (v/gf)

Makes approx. 1 cup

2 cups organic raw sesame seeds

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (see note)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Spread the sesame seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven on the middle rack. Roast for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly golden brown. Be careful--they burn easily.

Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. 

Transfer the sesame seeds to a food processor and pulse a few times. Process for a few minutes until the seeds begin to come together in a rough, dry paste. Add the sea salt. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process until the mixture is creamy and smooth.

Store in the fridge for up to 1 month. 

Note: For sweet/neutral applications, reduce the sea salt to a pinch and use a neutral oil like avocado or grapeseed.