Basic Tahini Sauce

Basic Tahini Sauce

Use this sauce, which is adapted from the Philadelphia chef Michael Solomonov, as a garnish for roast chicken and lamb. Dress thinly sliced raw kale and toasted pumpkinseeds with tahini sauce for a simple salad. Drizzle it over sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. Or serve with grilled eggplant, zucchini and peppers or roasted carrots and cauliflower.


  • ½cup tahini, well stirred
  • ¼cup lemon juice (from 2 lemons), more to taste
  • ½teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1garlic clove


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, cumin, salt and 6 tablespoons water until smooth and emulsified. Use a rasp grater to finely grate the garlic into the bowl. Stir, taste and adjust salt and lemon as needed. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to a week.


  • To make Mr. Solomonov’s green tahini sauce, blend 1 cup basic tahini sauce with 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons chopped chives, 2 tablespoons chopped dill, 2 teaspoons chopped mint and 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro in a food processor until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days. Serve as a dip with crudités or thin with 1 to 2 tablespoons water and drizzle over grilled fish, lamb or vegetables.
  • To make Japanese sesame dressing, substitute 1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar for lemon juice. Omit cumin and salt and reduce water to 1/4 cup. Add 2 teaspoons soy sauce, a few drops toasted sesame oil and 1 teaspoon mirin. Whisk together with garlic as directed above. Serve with boiled broccoli or green beans or alongside seared tuna. Or thin with a little water and use to dress a salad of thinly sliced cucumbers.

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