Tahini, aka sesame paste, is a very common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and has many uses in the kitchen. Not only is it an essential component in making hummus, or baba ganoush, but it's also fantastic in dressings, sauces and countless recipes!
Toasting the raw (hulled or unhulled) sesame seeds will give the tahini a more intense, nutty flavor. If you wish to toast yours, place them on a baking sheet and bake them at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly fragrant and lightly colored but not brown; then, let the toasted seeds cool until you can safely handle them with your bare hands.
Place the sesame seeds along with 2-3 tablespoons of oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in the container of your high-speed blender. Alternatively, you could use a food processor although your tahini won't be as smooth and creamy.
Turn the blender on at low speed and slowly increase speed to high. Process for a 1 or 2 minutes, using the tamper to press ingredients into the blades, until the mixture forms a thick and fairly smooth paste.
At this point, start adding more oil, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, and process again until the desired consistency is reached.
Transfer your finished tahini to a jar or other airtight container and store in a cool dry place for up to several weeks. With time, your tahini might tend to separate; if that happens, simply give it a good stir to redistribute the oil.
-Any kind of sesame seeds will work: natural unhulled, hulled raw, hulled toasted. Even the black variety works! Each variety will give your tahini a different flavor, color or texture. Refer to post for more details.-Stick to neutral/mild flavored oils, such as avocado, flaxseed, walnut, macadamia or light sesame seed oil; although, a little bit (as in a teaspoon or two) of toasted sesame oil will help boost the nutty flavor of the sesame seeds. Don't go using too much, though, or you would totally overpower the delicate flavor of your tahini.