Tahini in Black and White
Long a supporting player, tahini is having a moment, and getting star billing in salad dressings and even desserts. An essential component of many Middle Eastern classics like hummus and baba ganoush, tahini is one of those ingredients that you may not have realized you were eating, but you’d notice right away if it were missing.
Most tahinis are made with seeds grown in Mexico and India, but the best use Ethiopian sesame, known for having the richest flavor. Unadulterated tahini can be an acquired taste, it’s typically quite bitter, but when stirred into honey or added to yogurt for a simple salad dressing, it adds a deep, nutty flavor and a rich umami undercurrent that makes almost anything—even chocolate—taste better.
Black tahini is relatively new to the market. Dark and thick as tar, it has the same buttery quality, but a more tannic and toasty flavor than traditional tahini. It’s quickly becoming a favorite in the Sun Basket test kitchen. You can try it in our Chicken Breasts with Shirazi Salad and Black Tahini Dressing.
In terms of nutrition, tahini is a good source of protein, calcium, and unsaturated fats. It’s approved for Paleo diets and is naturally gluten-free.