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A tale of two tahini mills

After a few wrong turns that led us up and down the bleached stone staircases of Jerusalem’s Old City, we’d found ourselves standing outside what looked like a small convenience store. There were no other storefronts in the immediate vicinity. The nutty smell of sesame was everywhere. But where was …


Caramelized okra with tahini mashed potatoes

If you’re going to eat okra, you’ll be eating it stewed in a tomato sauce. For some reason that dictate is observed as if it were religiously mandated. Why is that? It tastes good, of course. But right now is okra season, these itty bitty green nibs are being sold …


Onion-chipotle tahini dip

I’ve been going through massive quantities of vegetable sticks and dip, particularly since Hanukkah, after eating my weight in donuts during the first few days of the holiday. I think I was starting to feel a little deep-fried myself, actually. Fortunately fresh, crispy peppers and carrots are the perfect antidote, …


Simple mezze: Tahini with roasted pepper and herbs

I’m not sure I cracked the secret of the secret tahini, but my not-so-secret version is good nonetheless. A few days ago, we were at a vegetarian restaurant called Mezze for the first time. The restaurant isn’t new; how it is that it took us so long to visit a …


Super-fresh hummus

My friend Kazue is visiting from Japan, and her favorite food here just happens to be hummus. So I whipped up a batch or three. Hummus is quite possibly one of the simplest things to make, full of rich, creamy flavor — so long as you use fresh chickpeas. That …


Cold sesame noodles with cucumber and wakame

It’s getting a little too hot to eat warm food. Fortunately, these sesame-coated noodles are cold and refreshing. This preparation is vaguely Japanese-inspired, due to the wakame and soy sauce, but with a local twist of tahini. To the best of my knowledge, you can’t readily find tahini in Japan, …