How To Make Tahini
Makes about 1 cup
- 1 cup
- 2 tablespoons
or more mild olive oil, a neutral oil such as grapeseed oil, and/or a small amount of sesame oil
Measuring cups and spoons
Skillet or rimmed baking sheet
Food processor (or mortar and pestle, or blender)
Toast raw sesame seeds (optional): Toasting raw sesame seeds gives the tahini a nuttier flavor. On the stovetop, place the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring them frequently with a wooden spoon. Toast the seeds until they are lightly colored (not brown) and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a large plate or tray and let them cool completely. Alternatively, toast the seeds in the oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the sesame seeds on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast the seeds, stirring once or twice, until they are lightly colored (not brown) and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a large plate or tray and let them cool completely.
Place the sesame seeds in a food processor: Place the sesame seeds in a food processor fitted with the S-blade. (Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle or a blender, although success may depend on the particular blender.)
Grind the sesame seeds: Process for 2 to 3 minutes until the sesame seeds form a crumbly paste.
Add oil: Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the food processor. Process for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the mixture forms a thick and fairly smooth paste.
Add more oil (optional): For thinner tahini, add more oil, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, and process until the desired consistency is reached.
Add salt (optional): Add salt to taste and process until combined.
Store the tahini: Transfer the tahini to a jar or other airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for a month or longer. If the mixture separates, stir the tahini to redistribute the oil.