Green Tahini Dip
This is an easy vegan green sauce / dip that can be paired with crudites or pita bread, be used as a dipping sauce for meat/fish or as a sandwich spread. Green Tahini dip will surely become your favorite new staple!
What is Tahini?
Tahini is so cool right now! It can be found on menus at most restaurants and cafes. It is the staple ingredient for making hummus and many salad dressings. Tahini is simply sesame seed butter, which is a paste made from ground, toasted sesame seeds. Most of us are familiar with only white sesame tahini, which I used to make my green tahini. But here’s a fun fact – sesame seeds come in a spectrum of colors including black, tan, gold and brown, which all have slightly different flavors.
Tahini is nutty, creamy and deeply savory. Depending on the brand you purchase, it may need a good stir, similar to natural peanut butter. The oils can separate to the top of the jar and will require a few hearty stirs to reincorporate. In my green tahini I used Soom Foods brand, which can be found online.
Where does Tahini come from?
Tahini has been mentioned in 13th Century Arabic cookbooks, and everyone from the Turks to the Syrians to the Lebanese claim tahini as their own. Writer and director Oren Rosenfeld says it best, “Hummus is a Middle Eastern food claimed by all and owned by none.” And here’s another fun fact – Lebanon currently holds the Guinness Book of World Records for largest plate of hummus, weighing 2,300 pounds!1
Is Green Tahini Healthy?
Green Tahini is super healthy! Tahini is simply ground sesame seeds, which are known as the “Queen of Oilseeds,” because they are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants and have a strong resistance to rancidity (spoiling). Sesame seeds are a nutritional powerhouse high in protein, vitamin B1, vitamin E and dietary fiber. Also a great source of phosphorous, iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, copper and zinc. 2 Wow!
The addition of spinach is what makes the recipe a green tahini. Spinach is also a nutritional superstar. It is an excellent source of Vitamin K, which is needed for blood clotting. It’s high in Vitamin A, which promotes healthy skin, teeth and eyes. Spinach is also a good source of folate, which helps tissues grow and cells work and divide. 3
Scallions and garlic are in the plant family known as alliums, which add much more than just flavor to my green tahini. The pungency of garlic that can linger on your breath is attributed to their high sulfur content. Sulfur compounds have preventive cardiovascular and heart disease functions as well as antioxidant and antimicrobial abilities!
Green Tahini Cooking Tips
I recommend adding all of the ingredients to your food processor – or blender – but reserve about a third of the water and scallions! You may find that as the green tahini blends it begins to thicken into a paste. Slowly begin to add the reserved water to get a creamy texture ideal for dipping. After you have added the green tahini to a serving bowl, add the rest of the scallions for appeal and texture. If you plan to use it as a dressing instead of a dip, add more liquid to thin it out.
This green tahini recipe is wonderfully versatile. If you do not have (or do not like) white wine vinegar, I recommend red wine vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice. Instead of spinach, try using arugula or kale. I also love playing with different spices like cumin, sumac and harissa.
My green tahini can be ready to serve in less than 10 minutes! It is a healthy alternative to French onion dip or ranch dressing. It also can make a great salad dressing, topping for winter pureed soups or used as a hearty sandwich condiment.
- Spechler D. Who invented hummus? http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20171211-who-invented-hummus. Accessed December 4, 2019.
- Pathak N, Rai AK, Kumari R, Bhat KV. Value addition in sesame: A perspective on bioactive components for enhancing utility and profitability. Pharmacogn Rev. 2014;8(16):147-155. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.134249
- Spinach 14.pdf. http://files-do-not-link.udc.edu/docs/causes/online/Spinach%2014.pdf. Accessed December 4, 2019.
- 1 cup baby spinach
- ½ cup tahini
- 1/3 to ½ cup water
- 2 scallions light green and white parts only, chopped
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Serve with cut up vegetables and pita bread