Your tahini cre­ations

Your recipes prove this sesame paste is for so much more than dip­ping

The Guardian - Cook - - Front Page - With Eve O’Sul­li­van

You’re prob­a­bly used to see­ing tahini pop up in dips and dress­ings, but this week’s sub­mis­sions brought vastly var­ied recipes from sweet treats to meaty mari­nades. Wendy Ely’s quick tahini spread on toast – bright­ened with or­ange zest and stud­ded with dried fruit – made an in­ter­est­ing change from my usual nut but­ters at break­fast. Cookeathope’s tahini and ba­nana pancakes fol­lowed.

Mar­madukeS­car­let cre­ated an umami tahini-miso mari­nade for steak that sat well along side stir-fried greens, while Gar­den Deli’s flat­bread with honey and thyme was the per­fect week­end bake – the sesame paste adding ex­tra flavour to the dough. But this week’s win­ner, ElleZumbido, has rein­vented my mid­day meal.

Tahini is a Mid­dle-Eastern in­gre­di­ent, but it works won­ders in this Asian salad

THE WIN­NING RECIPE ASIAN RICE SALAD

Tahini is a Mid­dle-Eastern in­gre­di­ent, but it works won­ders in this hearty and nu­tri­tious Asian-in­spired salad. If you want to make a meal of it, top with some fried tofu. ElleZumbido, via Guardian Wit­ness

Serves 4

100g short-grain brown rice

A hand­ful of arame (dried Ja­panese sea veg­etable, op­tional)

2 car­rots, coarsely grated

2cm piece of gin­ger, finely grated

20g cavolo nero or savoy cab­bage, finely shred­ded

4 spring onions, chopped (re­serve the greens as a gar­nish)

¼ cu­cum­ber, cubed 1 tsp each of black and white sesame seeds, toasted

1 tbsp sun­flower seeds, toasted

For the dress­ing

2 tbsp tahini

Juice of ½ a lime

A dash of tamari or soy sauce

A dash of ume plum sea­son­ing (if you can’t get this, just add ex­tra lime and tamari)

½ tsp Chi­nese five spice mix

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 Rinse the rice in cold wa­ter then bring to the boil in around 400ml of wa­ter. Re­duce the heat, cover and sim­mer for 25-30 min­utes, or un­til all the wa­ter has been ab­sorbed. Leave to cool.

2 Soak the arame in cold wa­ter for 10-15 min­utes. Drain and set aside.

3 Com­bine the cool rice with all the salad in­gre­di­ents, re­serv­ing the spring onion greens and a small hand­ful each of cu­cum­ber, arame and seeds.

4 To make the dress­ing, whisk to­gether the tahini and the lime juice. Add a few drops of wa­ter if it cur­dles. Add the tamari and plum sea­son­ing and five spice. Grad­u­ally whisk in the sesame oil. The tex­ture should be like sin­gle cream. Dress the salad. Serve in bowls with a gar­nish of cu­cum­ber, spring onion, arame and a sprin­kle of seeds.

TAHINI FLAT­BREAD WITH HONEY AND THYME

Adding tahini to the dough gives this bread a chewy but soft tex­ture. Gar­den Deli, via Guardian Wit­ness

Serves 2-4

300g strong white bread flour

190ml wa­ter 1 tsp fast ac­tion dried yeast

1 tsp fine salt

2 tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1 tbsp tahini

For the top­ping

2 tsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1 tsp set honey

3 or 4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked

A pinch of sea salt flakes (op­tional)

1 Mix the flour and wa­ter un­til there’s no dry flour left. Cover and leave to rest for 30 min­utes to an hour.

2 Add the yeast, salt, olive oil and tahini. Bring the mix to­gether into a soft dough. Knead on a clean sur­face then cover for a few min­utes. Re­peat the knead­ing twice more with a rest in­be­tween. You should end up with a

smooth, elas­tic dough. Shape it into a ball, put it in a bowl, cover and leave to rise at room tem­per­a­ture for about 5 hours – un­til roughly dou­bled in size.

3 About 30 min­utes be­fore bak­ing, heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 with a bak­ing sheet on the mid­dle shelf. Shape the dough into a ball, then leave on the work sur­face. Put all the top­ping in­gre­di­ents ex­cept the salt into a small saucepan and heat gen­tly un­til the honey has melted. Set aside.

4 Gen­tly flat­ten the dough un­til it is about 1cm thick and roughly oval in shape. Trans­fer to a piece of lightly oiled bak­ing parch­ment. Press your fin­ger­tips into the dough’s sur­face, then spread the oil and honey mix evenly over the top. Add a sprin­kling of sea salt flakes if you like.

5 Bake for 20-25 min­utes, un­til the crust is golden. Cool on a wire rack.

TAHINI-MISO MARI­NADE

A quick and easy way to add a bit of oomph to a salad or roasted veg­eta­bles. Mar­madukeS­car­let, via GuardianWit­ness

Serves 2-4

1 gar­lic clove, very finely sliced

3-4 tbsp tahini

2-3 tbsp red miso paste

1 tbsp mirin

1 tbsp rice vine­gar

Wa­ter (op­tional)

Salt and black pep­per

1 Com­bine the gar­lic, tahini, miso, mirin and rice vine­gar. Add a lit­tle wa­ter for a run­nier con­sis­tency. Sea­son to taste.

SPICY CHICK­PEA AND AV­O­CADO SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESS­ING

This tahini dress­ing trans­forms a sim­ple salad com­pletely. Fadime Tiskaya, via GuardianWit­ness

Serves 4-6

2 tsp ground cayenne pep­per

2 tsp ground pa­prika

2 tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp salt and black pep­per

240g chick­peas

1 medium potato, peeled, cut into small dice

4 tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1 large av­o­cado, peeled and finely sliced 50g dried mung beans, boiled drained, or 100g cooked green lentils

A large hand­ful of co­rian­der leaves

A large hand­ful of mint, finely chopped

2 apri­cots or half a ripe mango, sliced

For the dress­ing

60g tahini

30g chick­peas

3 tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil Juice of 2 lemons 2 gar­lic cloves, crushed 2 tbsp chopped pars­ley 2 tbsp grape mo­lasses or honey 1 tbsp ground sumac 3-4 tbsp wa­ter Salt and black pep­per

1 Blitz all the dress­ing in­gre­di­ents into a smooth and runny paste.

2 Com­bine the pa­prika, cayenne pep­per, turmeric, salt and pep­per. Add the chick­peas and potato, then toss un­til well coated in the spice mix.

3 Heat the olive oil in a non­stick pan and fry the chick­peas and potato for about 6 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally. Trans­fer them to a pa­per towel.

4 As­sem­ble the salad by lay­er­ing the av­o­cado, fol­lowed by the mung beans, chick­peas, fresh herbs and fruit, then pour over the dress­ing and serve.

TAHINI & BA­NANA PANCAKES

Th­ese lit­tle pancakes are light, fluffy and de­li­cious. They are also baked, so no flip­ping and no wait­ing! Cookeathope via GuardianWit­ness

Serves 4

125g tahini 1 ripe ba­nana 2 med­jool dates 6-8 tbsp almond milk or other milk 1 large egg, beaten 2 tbsp whole­meal spelt flour 1½ tsp bak­ing pow­der Honey, to serve Sesame seeds, to serve

1 Set the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Blitz the tahini, ba­nana, dates and milk un­til com­bined. Trans­fer to a bowl. Whisk in the egg, flour and bak­ing pow­der. The bat­ter should be quite thick, but you might need to add 1-2 tbsp ex­tra milk.

2 Spoon the bat­ter on to lined bak­ing trays to form 10-12 pancakes. Bake for 12 min­utes un­til golden. Top with honey and sesame seeds, then serve.

SWEET TAHINI SPREAD

This is gor­geous on toast or oat­cakes, and is easy to trans­port to work for break­fast or snack times. Wendy Ely, Ken­dal

Makes around 150g

150g tahini 1-2 tbsp of honey or ve­gan al­ter­na­tive Juice and zest of 1 or­ange A hand­ful of sul­tanas or raisins (op­tional)

1 Mix to­gether the tahini, honey, or­ange juice and zest, then stir well and add more sweet­ener or juice if needed, for spread­ing con­sis­tency. Add the sul­tanas or raisins, if us­ing.

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