Tahini: Round One

feta and tahini dip

The bottle of tahini in my cupboard expires August 2012. However, I’m not sure it will last that long. One, because I plan on using it, but two, can something like that be open for almost a year and still be okay to eat?

Anyway, my boyfriend and I recently went on a cleaning binge and although we didn’t tackle our food storage situation, I thought I would help out by using what we had in house and not buying cream cheese or sour cream as a base for my pending dip. And believe me, it is KILLING me not to have cream cheese in the house, especially with all of the pumpernickel loaves I’ve been buying lately.

Pumpernickel, I’ve been noticing, certainly has a wider meaning than I realized. I’ve found some fairly plain, some with caraway seeds (my favorite) and I just bought a loaf at the Columbia Heights far mar that has broad sections of poppy seeds on the top, and was nicknamed ‘Black Russian.” Now I’m on a mission to discover all the different intricacies in pumpernickel, a very underutilized bread.

In the meantime, here’s a dip that is fantastic with pumpernickel crutons.

Feta Tahini Dip

Crumble feta into food processor, add tahini, lots of roughly chopped cilantro (with stems), scallions and oil. My mini-processor had a hell of a time cutting through the tahini so I added in a bit of hot water to get it going. It’s surprising how water really can help things out.  Now that the texture was more manageable, I needed to bring in more flavor.

In my head, and because my boyfriend kept asking if I’d be making a bean dip, I kept thinking how this could be a totally not closely related spin off to hummus. Basically because I was using tahini. Anyway, I wanted to use lemon, but didn’t have one so instead I used a white wine vinegar to brighten the dip, plus lots of salt and pepper, and what the hell, red pepper flakes. Let the dip chill before using (my dip became crazy hot because the processor motor was working overtime on that thick tahini.)

Serve with raw red pepper strips, tortilla chips, pumpernickel croutons or some other crunchy vehicle.

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  • Alicia October 5, 2010  

    This recipe sounds promising!

  • 80 Proof October 5, 2010  

    This was seriously good. No one who ate it could really tell what the ingredients were. I don’t think anyone would have guessed tahini. I almost didn’t even miss the cream cheese/sour cream base…almost.

  • Borracho October 5, 2010  

    This sounds great. Love the red pepper flakes!

  • erica October 5, 2010  

    that sounds rad, i love tahini. my fave use for it is the sauce someone copied here: http://www.vegalicious.org/2008/09/01/courtneys-garlicy-kale-with-tahini-sauce/

  • erica October 5, 2010  

    PS! even just saying the word “pumpernickle” is fun. i’m sure tahini can spoil but i always keep it in the cupboard same as the peanut butter and don’t worry about it. then again, i fill up from the 5 gal bucket of tahini at the store every few months so i don’t think mine ever sits for years…

  • Borracho October 5, 2010  

    I am ashamed to say I have never used it for anything but hummus. Anyone have ideas on a dessert incorporating or using tahini? I can see it pairing really well with chocolate or caramel

  • gansie October 5, 2010  

    @borracho – you are crazy. please experiment asap on a tahini dessert.

    @erica – thank you for the idea of tahini as dressing. need to try that. think it’d be weird on tomatoes? i have a few left and need to eat them soon. would miso paste and tahini be overkill?

  • Borracho October 6, 2010  

    :-/ I know, I know. It is one of those ingredients I just haven’t played with enough so I loved this post. Miso and tahini could work well. I’m thinking a dressing of those two with white, bean tomato, onion and chili salad or bruschetta would work.

  • Pingback: Tahini: Round Two | Endless Simmer October 11, 2010  

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