Green Tahini with Garlic and Cilantro

I have a mounding stack of cookbooks sitting up high on a shelf on top of my fridge, next to my cake stand collection. I seldom cook from them, maybe because I need a stool to reach a book or maybe because I like to stretch my own limits and creativity. But mostly because I can’t be bothered with a measuring spoon and lengthy instructions. I still cherish many of them and occasionally dust one off to glean some inspiration. There’s something inherently rewarding about a tangible book filled with words and beautiful imagery that a virtual counterpart can never replace.

I’ve come to notice a strong influence laced into many of the new cookbooks; mainly that of a medley of Middle Eastern flavors and dishes. This trend was most likely pioneered by Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem, which shared a collection of Israeli and Middle Eastern dishes, most of which I grew up around. Since that book, I’ve seen za’atar sprinkled on everything, labneh turned into a dessert, harissa become a staple condiment, and tehina transformed into sweet and savory concoctions. These recipes feel at once familiar yet innovative, modern yet traditional. I love them all but tehina, oh how it is so close to my heart. It absolutely wins for the most consumed food in our house. We spoon a dollop onto every. thing. From bread to meat to salads to crudités, tehina makes it on there.

I’ve already shared a recipe for it here a while ago, but I’ve since streamlined the way I make it and thought it worthwhile to share again. It comes together almost effortlessly, yet adds so much depth and flavor to any dish. With its nutty undertones and smooth, silky texture. we call it liquid gold. And that isn’t an understatement. We take tehina seriously around here.

I make mine with cilantro, for the extra flavor it imparts, but I’ve made it with parsley as well. Not the same results but delicious nonetheless. I also go easy on the garlic and skipped the squeezed lemon juice. You’re a few whirls away from something wonderful.

Green Tahini with Garlic and Cilantro

1 (17oz.) jar of tahini (people love Soom, but I use Achva Tahini)

2 large cloves of garlic

1 bunch cilantro, cleaned and stems removed

1-1.5 cups water

1 teaspoon sea salt, or more according to taste

In a chopper or food processor, process the garlic and cilantro until finely chopped. Pour the tahini in. Add the water and salt and process until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more water and process again. You want the consistency to be smooth and creamy rather than runny. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate. You can top it with sesame seeds, cumin, sumac, and cilantro for some flavor and decoration.

Tahini freezes really well and I usually make a big batch and freeze in small glass containers. Also, the consistency thickens slightly over time in the fridge.