I swear my mom sends me the most random food. It's like she walks down the aisle blindfolded with one arm outstretched letting whatever falls into the cart make it's way to my dorm.
This time the randomness is a can of pureed sesame seeds, AKA Tahini...what can I do with this?
Eggplant and tahini are one of those mystical food combinations that just seem made for each other. I live in Israel, where it is as common as peanut butter and jelly. You can either make it in a dip form (called baba ghanouj), or, even better and easier, fire-roast a couple of eggplant (prick the eggplant a few times with a fork and place directly on the gas flame, rotating occasionally until eggplant steams and collapses and skin is completely blackened), put the eggplants in a colander to drain and cool, and when cool enough to handle peel off the blackened skin (leave a few bits for flavor and rusticity). Season with lemon juice, and then cover with tahini sauce and some toasted pine nuts. You'll feel like you're in your favorite watefront cafe in Beirut or Tel Aviv.
PS: For a standard tahini sauce like you'll find in your local felafel shop you will need:
1 cup tahini
1 teaspoon garlic, peeled and crushed with salt
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup cold water
In a food processor blend the tahini with the garlic, salt, and lemon juice until the mixture is white and "tightens". Add the water and blend until smooth.
From Paula Wolfert "Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean."
Add a little bit to a thai style peanut sauce. Do NOT make Mark Bittman's recent recipe w/ chix breasts and tahini!! It was gross and you'll never want to get near a sesame seed again!! Just do a google or ask.com search, and you will probably find something good to make with it. Don't forget to stir the hell out of it before using (like natural peanut butter, etc).
Best. Salad. Dressing. Ever.
Normally I probably wouldn't bother typing this out for a complete stranger, but since I'm sort of bored, here is my recipe for creamy tahini dressing. Anyone you serve this to will be blown away. I was given it about 10 years ago and it's become my standby. This recipe will make about a quart, which will last 7-10 days, although you will finish it way before then.
1/2 cup water
1 cup tahini
3/4 cups lemon juice
1/2 cup liquid aminos (Bragg's), good soy sauce can be subbed
1 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped scallion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped ginger or ginger juice
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup olive oil
In a blender, start with the water and blend everything else in. Job done.
This makes an amazing salad dressing, but also is perfect for falafel. I'd hazard a guess that it'd rock the nuts off a piece of grilled chicken too.
after my post, I saw your recipe above, berbadeerface. Wow, that sounds really good. As I happen to have all those things in my pantry, (right down to the Bragg's...) I might have to make me a half batch of that tonight. Thanks for totally de-railing my dinner plans ;) I'd hazard a guess that that would "rock the nuts" off of a lot of things (except for, like, pancakes or ice cream....). adam
Brilliant...let me know how it turns out! I actually usually use the food processor, adding things in a logical order rather than all at once, but I figured for simplicity's sake (and the fact that the OP lives in a dorm and it thus far more likely to have access to a blender than a FP), putting everything in the blender and buzzing it up would work just fine. Enjoy!
Wow, what an awesome mom to get you to try new foods by sending you random stuff...I just LOVE that!!! <I also laughed out loud envisioning someone doing that in the grocery store!> Pikawicca's advice is solid...probably your easiest first way to try it is to use it in a salad dressing...there are some good tahini vinaigrettes out there! Then, hopefully, you have a food processor in which to make some hummus. Oh, by the way, upon opening your container of tahini, you will likely need to STIR it well as it separates like natural peanut butter or any nut butter. After opening, I keep mine in the fridge because I'm in Florida and am afraid it will go rancid otherwise. Have fun experimenting and amazing your college friends!