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Tag: tahini

Tahini, Tomato Vinaigrette & Zhoug Dip

Just look at it. Doesn’t it fill you with intrigue? Doesn’t it make you want to grab the nearest piece of bread and drag it right through the middle of that bowl to see what colours you’ll get, like some gleefully giddy child left unattended with its watercolour set? We had this on our recent trip to Israel in Tel Aviv and fucking hell, did it blow our little minds, As our friend stated, “If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be this.” That combination of nutty tahini, the sweet and sour tomato vinaigrette, and the salty, herby, and spicy zhoug is utter perfection. Go do yourself and your friends a favour and make this next time they come around.

Tahini, Tomato Vinaigrette & Zhoug Dip

Inspired by the wonderful Bucke Café

This will make more than enough for 6 people, possibly even 12, but it really depends on how gluttonous you’re feeling. The dip is best served in a shallow bowl of some sort, in order to optimise the scoopage of all three flavours.

Tahini, about 4-6 Tbsp – depending on the size and depth of your bowl

Tomato vinaigrette

1 tomato, rightly chopped

100-120ml olive oil

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp sugar (if it’s a winter tomato, or, indeed, a Swiss supermarket tomato)


1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped

1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped

½ chilli or preferably 1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped (Jalapenos add a really nice vegetal flavour akin to a green capsicum)

1-2 garlic cloves, halved

¼ teaspoon salt

1-2 Tbsp water

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

Pita or crusty bread, to serve

First, start off with the tomato vinaigrette. Combine ingredients in a tall container and blend until smooth with a hand-held blender. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Will keep for up to a week in an airtight jar in the fridge.

Rinse the blending container and the hand-held blender and add all the ingredients for the zhoug into the container. Blend it until it looks a little like pesto. Consistency-wise you may want it to be a little looser than pesto to enable optimal scoopability. Give it a taste – It should be salty and spicy. If you want to amp up the spice, you can add more now (I’m sure you haven’t chucked that other half of the chilli / jalapeno just yet). Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days, although the coriander starts going a bit icky relatively soon.

Finally, assembly time. Fill a shallow bowl with the tahini and gently pour approximately the same amount of the tomato vinaigrette on top. Finish off with a nice big dollop of zhoug and you’re done. Serve with pita or bread.


Tahini Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Chocolate Soil, Sesame, and Orange

I’m not much of a dessert person. But damn, I most certainly am a dessert person for this little number. The tahini and buttermilk come together beautifully in this very delicate panna cotta. There’s less gelatine in it than in a usual panna cotta, because I never understood the appeal of a bouncy dessert. Soft and almost fall-apart delicate is what we want. This soft, not too sweet panna cotta is nicely complemented with the crunch of chocolate soil, and is lent a nice savoury kick from the salty sesame seasoning. Finally, the orange offsets the dessert’s richness and brings satisfaction to even the most dramatic “I’m too full for dessert, especially if its panna cotta” guests.

Tahini Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Chocolate Soil, Sesame, and Orange

Makes 6-12 servings

2 sheets gelatine

250ml double cream

½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped

40g white sugar

2 Tbsp tahini

250ml buttermilk

Chocolate soil

35g white sugar

35g almond meal

20g flour

15g cocoa powder

pinch of salt

15g butter, melted

Salty sesame seasoning

2 Tbsp sesame

2 pinches salt

2 oranges, segmented – this yields about 20 orange filets

Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl of water and set to the side. Combine the double cream, vanilla, and sugar in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. Stir in the tahini and stir for half a minute. Squeeze out rehydrated gelatine sheets and add whisk into the mixture. Pour in the buttermilk and stir until well combined. Pour into prepared cups, glasses, or bowls, or whatever tiny vessel you have hanging around. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours until set.

Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate soil. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, then stir in the melted butter until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture looks mealy. Spread over a lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Cool, then store in an airtight container.

For the sesame seasoning, toast the sesame seeds in a small pan over low heat until golden. Cool, then grind roughly with the salt. Set aside. For serving, either leave the panna cotta in the cups / glasses / bowls or upend them onto dessert plates. If you’re into those half-moon shapes I made, simply run a knife through the middle and around the edge of each panna cotta-filled glass and gently scoop each half out with a tablespoon. You can wodge any bits you missed under the panna cotta – you won’t see them after you’ve had a go with the chocolate soil. Nestle two orange filets next to each and sprinkle a teaspoon of chocolate soil between the two. top off with 1/3 of a teaspoon of the sesame seasoning. Serve.

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