Tahini is a major ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, and it forms part of the standard recipe for many dips and spreads like hummus and baba ghanoush.
In the Middle East, tahini is just a paste of oil and lightly toasted sesame seeds. With a good food processor or blender it's a snap to make, and it will keep for a month or so in the fridge. We like to make a big batch to have on hand for impromptu hummus production.
D.I.Y. Tahini about 2 cups
2 cups white sesame seeds 1/4 cup olive oil
Heat a heavy wide-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sesame seeds and toast lightly - about 2 minutes, shaking the pan so they toast evenly. Let cool completely.
Put in a food processor and drizzle in the olive oil. Pulse for 3-5 minutes, or until it's as smooth as you can get it. Add a little more olive oil if necessary. Refrigerate.