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    Q & A with Gabriela Cámara

    Gabriela Cámara is an international restaurateur and author of My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions. We interviewed her to discuss the popularity of the modern Mexican table, her position on sustainable food, and her commitment to creating equitable work environments. Continue reading “Q & A with Gabriela Cámara” » LEGGI TUTTO

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    Ingredient Spotlight: Tahini

    Tahini isn’t just for hummus! Add this creamy, slightly nutty, rich ingredient made from sesame seeds to granola and brownies or make a dressing, marinade, or sauce for roasted vegetables, salad, and grilled meats.

    This post is part of our Summer Cookbook Club series for July 2020, featuring Adeena Sussman’s book, Sababa.

    Tahini, at its most basic definition, is a paste made of ground sesame seeds. Sometimes the seeds are roasted; sometimes they aren’t. Unroasted seeds are considered raw.
    People either tend to love it or hate it. If you’re on the “hate it” side, you might want to rethink your position and explore your sesame seeking options.
    “To make tahini, sesame seeds are soaked in water (sometimes salted), then crushed so the hull separates from the tender inner germ. The seeds are then run through a centrifuge to separate and dispose of the waste before being roasted and ground between huge millstones,” Adeena Sussman writes in her most recent cookbook, Sababa.
    When tahini is good, it should be homogeneous, creamy, thick but pourable, with a rich, nutty flavor. Sometimes it could taste slightly salty depending on how it’s processed, or darker in color which just means it was roasted more.
    Bad tahini is bitter and dry tasting. If you’re not a fan of tahini, don’t hate all tahini—just hate bad tahini.
    So, you know what it should taste like now, and if you’ve been duped by the bitter stuff, don’t worry. It happens to the best of us.
    I reached out to Adeena Sussman, author of Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavor’s from my Israeli Kitchen for some advice on picking the best tahini.
    “I highly recommend Soom Tahini. It’s imported from Israel by three American sisters. They guarantee freshness and have high standards and practices,” Adeena said during a recent interview from her home in Tel Aviv.

    While some oil separation is natural, there shouldn’t be a thick layer of oil on top.
    “Good tahini should pour like a thick pancake batter,” Adeena says. “It should be unified. There shouldn’t be a layer of oil on top and sludge on the bottom.”
    If you see thick, distinct layers, chances are the tahini isn’t fresh. If you can, try to look for jars with packaged by dates stamped on them.
    Tahini is shelf stable and can sit in a cool dry cabinet for up to a year, which makes it the perfect ingredient to have on hand.
    Most people are familiar with using tahini in hummus, but there is no reason to stop with a creamy bean dip! Make tahini dressing to spoon over salads and roasted vegetables, or add tahini to smoothies and granola, or swirl it into brownies.
    If you’re looking for more ways to use tahini in your cooking, check out Adeena Sussman’s book, Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen. Autographed copies are available in our Simply Recipes Shop.

    Products We Love

    Soom Foods Pure Ground Sesame Tahini, 16 OZ (2-pack)

    See price on Amazon

    This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy. LEGGI TUTTO

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    Chewy Tahini Blondies

    If you’re a fan of blondies, and you should be, look no further than these chewy, slightly nutty, and utterly indulgent blondies made with tahini. The recipe was created by Adeena Sussman, for her cookbook Sababa.

    Photography Credit: Dan Perez

    There are cookbooks, and then there are books you will cook from for life.
    Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen by Adeena Sussman, published in 2019, falls into the latter category. Each recipe is approachable, interesting, and bursting with flavor.
    Beyond the recipes, she delves into details about ingredients, stories about her experiences in Israel, and recommendations for favorite kitchen tools and products.
    This recipe for Chewy Tahini Blondies was a favorite among us at Simply Recipes. We loved it so much we asked Adeena if we could share it with you. Don’t let this be your only foray into her gorgeous book. These blondies are just the beginning of what will be a beautiful relationship with her food and writing. But I will let you tell her about them:

    “I’ve made these so many times, so you won’t have to. On the surface this seems like a dead-simple recipe, but it took quite a bit of tinkering to nail. Tahini has a complex molecular structure made up of lots of tiny carbohydrate molecules that cling to liquid for dear life, seizing up the way chocolate does if you add liquid to it at the wrong time. But if you play your carbs right and add the tahini last, after all of the other ingredients, it stirs in smoothly and bakes up into these sexy little squares that get better as they sit around. To make these non-dairy, swap in a neutral-flavored olive oil or vegetable oil instead of the butter,” written in Sababa by Adeena Sussman.

    A blondie is kind of like the rich, caramelized, hints-of-molasses-flavored cousin of a brownie. You can make them chewy or cakey, simple or complex, but the universal component of a blondie is brown sugar. It’s what gives it the golden color and subtle molasses flavor.
    Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It adds a creamy texture and subtle nutty flavor to recipes. When most people think of tahini, they think of hummus, but it’s an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in sauces, dressings, marinades, and baked goods like these Tahini Blondies.

    We think these blondies are perfect just the way they are, but baking is fun when you mix things up.
    Swap the butter for oil to make them dairy-free.
    Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips because, well, chocolate.
    Add 1/4 cup of toasted nuts.
    If you can’t find sesame seeds, leave them out.
    If you don’t have tahini, make a different blondie recipe.
    You can absolutely make these Tahini Blondies ahead and freeze them by layering the blondies between sheets of parchment and storing them in a ziptop bag or freezer safe container. Then grab one as a single serving treat when the mood strikes you!
    If you’re looking for more great recipes, check out Adeena Sussman’s book, Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen. Autographed copies are available in our Simply Recipes Shop.

    From the editors of Simply Recipes

    Chewy Tahini Blondies recipe from Sababa by Adeena Sussman, published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Adeena Sussman

    Chewy Tahini Blondies Recipe

    To make these tahini blondies dairy-free, replace the butter with a 1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the pan.

    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for buttering the pan
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (or more to taste if you really like this flavor)
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons lightly toasted black sesame seeds
    2 tablespoons lightly toasted white sesame seeds
    1 1/4 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/2 cup pure tahini paste


    1 Preheat the oven and prep the pan: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, then line the pan with 2 criss-crossing strips of parchment paper, buttering between each layer and leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Butter the top and sides of the parchment.
    2 Make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, salt, pepper, and the black and white sesame seeds.
    In another medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just incorporated, then fold in the tahini until smooth.
    3 Bake blondies: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden on the outside and the center doesn’t jiggle but is still soft, 25 to 30 minutes.
    4 Serve: Remove from the oven, cool in the pan, and cut into 16 equal squares.

    Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

    Products We Love

    Soom Foods Pure Ground Sesame Tahini, 16 OZ (2-pack)

    See price on Amazon

    Non-stick 8-inch Square Cake Pan

    $7.49 on Amazon

    This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

    Summer Miller
    Summer Miller is the Senior Editor for Simply Recipes based in Nebraska. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Grit, SAVEUR, and Every Day with Rachael Ray, among others. Her first book is New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Publishing, 2015).
    More from Summer LEGGI TUTTO