From vibrant green dipping bowls to the perfect partner for roast veg, tahini makes a star ingredient in sauces. Here are our fave ways to tap into the rich, creamy allure of that sensational sesame paste.
Let's start with this eye-popping, tongue-tingling green tahini from Michael Rantissi, super easy to make and superb with his falafels.
Rev up roast veg
Yoghurt, tahini, lemon juice, honey and salt and pepper make up the creamy sauce that's just perfect on this dish of roasted spiced pumpkin. Serve it as a side, with leafy greens as a salad, or even on a pizza!
Tahini loves garlic
Tarator, a classic Lebanese sauce, shows off how well tahini and garlic go together. Take cauliflower to golden roasted glory, then dip or drizzle the hot cauli with tarator in this arnabeet mekleh recipe from Food Safari Earth. Heaven!
That garlic-tahini combo, with a touch of vinegar, is also the perfect drizzle for beef shawarma, where it gets wrapped up with spiced beef, crunchy lettuce and pickled turnip. Chicken lovers can make like Ainsley Harriott in Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook and swap the beef for a chicken shawarma - just make sure to douse it in a healthy helping of tahini sauce.
And it's lovely with this chermoula lamb shoulder, too. Marinated and grilled lamb is juicy and packed with flavour, and served with a garlic, yoghurt, lemon, cumin and tahini sauce.
Crunchy chicken, creamy sauce
Chicken coated in panko breadcrumbs and sesame seeds is so good with this creamy miso, tahini and sesame oil sauce.
Lift your salad with sesame
This chickpea and carrot salad with miso-tahini dressing makes a great side or can be turned into a meal by adding cooked wild rice or quinoa. The dressing brings together the umami appeal of miso with tahini, tamari, olive oil and ginger, and it's an excellent recipe for brightening other roast veg salads, too.
There's just so much flavour happening in this wholesome and spectacular Israeli cauliflower salad: pomegranates, raisins, roasted cauli, pine nuts and - of course - a lemon, yoghurt and tahini dressing.
A slaw-fire winner!
Creamy tahini, sweet honey and smoky black vinegar make a delicious dressing on this colourful salad. Justine Schofield says she took inspiration from Asian prosperity salads for this combo of red cabbage, daikon and carrot and creamy dressing, which she shares in Macau Gourmet.
Making barbecue sauce even better...
To go with his crispy cauliflower nuggets, Luke Hines creates a finger-licking good, kinda smoky, kinda creamy barbecue sauce.
The seeds and nuts you have come to expect from your breakfast muesli take on a more savoury side, in Shane's greens and eggs breakfast fry-up. #RecipeForLife
Super crunchy and packed with protein from seeds and grains, these bars are a tasty energy source after a hard workout or a long walk, or for a relatively healthy snack. It might seem a bit weird to include cumin in a non-savoury recipe, but it gives a slightly unusual edge to these bars.
This recipe is based on the classic samke harra, or spicy fish. Norma has used prawns instead of fish and has caramelised the onions, which lends a modern touch without losing the fantastic authentic flavours.
This recipe is traditionally made during Lent because it contains no animal products. As these little Greek tahini cakes contain no butter or eggs they tend to be on the crumbly side, but they’re delicious nonetheless, especially when drizzled with the orange blossom glaze. Best eaten on the day of making.