I'm crazy about sesame, the mighty little seeds that pack a powerful flavor punch. Toasting the seeds brings out their nuttiness and adds oomph when sprinkled on rice bowls, sushi and avocado toast. Not only that, each ¼-cup serving has as much calcium as a glass of milk! But my love doesn't stop there. Sesame seeds can be ground into sesame butter (also called tahini) which adds a subtle bitterness to sauces and gives hummus its tell-tale flavor.
This Japanese condiment is a simple combination of sesame seeds and salt (and, sometimes, toasted nori seaweed). You can make gomashio at home or buy it pre-made in condiment shakers – I use it the way other people use salt. It's often sprinkled onto sushi, but I also add it to stir-fries, avocado toast, pastas and savory Greek yogurt.
I love the natural bitterness of tahini combined with the tartness of lemons – it's a combination that awakens the taste buds. I mix one-part tahini to two-parts lemon juice, add sprinkle of salt and stir. I use this blend as a salad dressing, sauce, dip, sandwich spread and on rice bowls.
For this picture-perfect recipe, I press a salmon filet onto a plate of both white and black sesame seeds, then quickly pan-fry the salmon seed-side down in a hot pan with a bit of oil. The seeds form a crust and lock in the moisture of the salmon. Delicious!
I love making bite-sized sweet snacks using a combination of nut butters, seeds and dried fruit. One of my favorites is a snack made of a mixture of dates, honey and tahini, rolled in toasted sesame seeds.
So simple, yet so divine! This dish includes sesame three ways: seeds, tahini and toasted sesame oil. It can be made with any noodles, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and some vegetables (I like to add carrot, red peppers and broccoli). It's pulled together by this perfect sauce.
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Whisk all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Pour over noodles and vegetables. Top dish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.