Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tomato Tahini Dip and Dressing

I just returned back from a wonderful trip to Israel. I was teaching at the ICCM Congress and on my first day off, I headed for the Food Market. There I bought a big bottle of Tahini, some Date Honey, Pomegranate Molasses, Olive Oil, Zatar, Sumac, Dates and Halvah. Luckily it all fit in my suitcase - I was very worried that it was going to be over the weight limit. It's now my second day back and I had to start using my goodies! 

So, I broke open the Tahini and made a dip that I had at a wonderful restaurant called Puaa in Jaffa - the old part of Tel Aviv.  It was Tahini but it had tomato in it and was topped with a drizzle of olive oil and Sumac. Sumac is tart berry and I love the flavor it adds. This Tahini Dip was so good that I had to figure out how to make it. I asked my friend Karine and she gave me this basic recipe. It's simple - just mix Roasted Tahini with cold water and add lemon juice, a small amount of garlic and a tomato in the Cuisinart and puree it all up. Of course you can make it by hand, but be prepared for the Tahini to seize up before it softens again.  Then top it with the olive oil and Sumac. This would be good as a dip for vegetables - that's how I served it or with Pita Bread or Pita Chips. I think it would also be a wonderful salad dressing if you made it a bit thinner in consistency. Tahini is made with Sesame Seeds and they are very good for your kidneys. They are also full of calcium and iron and are full of minerals and vitamins.  So, consider this a very healthy snack no matter what you dip into it!

Tomato Tahini Dip and Dressing

1 cup Roasted Tahini
1/2 cup cold water (a bit more if making a dressing)
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
1 Roma Tomato, stem end removed and cut into small pieces
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 - 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sumac

Stir the jar of Tahini before measuring. Take one cup of Roasted Tahini paste and put into the Cuisinart.  Add the water and blend. Then add in the Garlic Clove, Lemon Juice, Tomato and Salt. Process until fully blended.  If making into a dressing add more water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.  If using as a dip, spoon into a serving bowl and drizzle with Olive Oil and sprinkle with Sumac. Serve with hot Pita Bread, Pita Chips or cut up Carrots, Celery, Zucchini and Red Pepper strips.

Five Element Analysis

Tahini is made of ground Sesame Seeds and belong to the Water Element and this dish really supports the kidneys. The olive oil along with the lemon juice and Sumac add the Wood Element.  The Tomato brings in the Fire Element and the garlic clove makes sure that the Metal Element is present too.  Only the Earth Element is missing, which is why I served it with Carrot Sticks, Celery and Red Pepper Strips. If you serve it with Pita Bread or Chips, you are adding more of the Wood Element so be sure to serve something else that includes an Earth Element food to create balance.  I think some Dates for dessert would be perfect!

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