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Simple Tahini Sauce


About 1⅓ cups


About 10 minutes


We could drink this stuff straight out of a pint glass. Silky smooth, pleasantly lemony and balanced with a bite from grated fresh garlic and the bitter grassiness of tahini, this is one of the simplest, most well-rounded sauces you can employ in your kitchen. It’s a fantastic dip for falafel or crudité; a beautifully rich, creamy salad dressing; and a delicious drizzle for roasted veggies such as cauliflower and romanesco. And dare we mention that it’s vegan?

Cooking Remarks

Careful ingredient sourcing makes food better all-around but is especially important in a recipe like this, where the ingredients are spare. Source the best tahini you can find, one made with raw, not toasted seeds. Because it is essentially sesame butter, tahini’s appealingly bitter profile does not age well, becoming increasingly bitter and astringent as it sits. Make sure to check the processing date. We especially like the tahini made by Seed + Mill. Store it in the fridge to prolong its freshness.

equipment mise en place

For this recipe, you will need a rasp-style grater, a small bowl, and a small whisk.

    • 5
      ounces (½ cup) high-quality raw tahini (see Cooking Remarks)
    • 6
      ounces (¾ cup) spring or filtered water
    • 1
      tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons juice from 1 large, juicy lemon
    • 1
      large garlic clove (germ removed, if present), grated on a rasp-style grater
    • Fine sea salt
  1. Place the tahini in a small bowl. While whisking, drizzle in the water; the tahini will first thicken but will eventually thin out. Add the lemon juice, garlic and ¾ teaspoon salt, then whisk to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. (The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Before serving, bring to room temperature; if the sauce has thickened, thin it with a little water and lemon juice, then adjust the seasoning with salt, if needed.)