Why You Should Be Adding Tahini To Your Pesto

If you're looking for ways to add more herbs to your diet, then look no further than pesto. The basil will add some freshness and brightness to any summer plate, and there are also variations of pesto where you can pack in more veggies, like kale pesto. While plenty of recipes swap out the greens, you can always switch out the pine nuts for something new. It turns out, tahini — toasted sesame seeds, ground with oil — is perfect for this.

You can find numerous recipes online that include tahini in pesto, including one posted by Food52 by Amy Zitelman, author of the book "The Tahini Table." In this cookbook, there are 100 recipes that use tahini in creative ways, and we trust Zitelman's tahini expertise to get this pesto just right. 

Adding tahini to pesto gives you a new twist on a recipe, and it's a great option when you don't have pine nuts on hand. Making a big batch of pesto? There's a trick you can use to make sure that it doesn't turn brown and maintains that beautiful green.

What does tahini pesto taste like, and what can you do with it?

The Occasionally Eggs website mentions that tahini generally has a stronger flavor than pine nuts, but with the recipe on the blog, there's not too much tahini, so it wouldn't be the primary flavor. This specific pesto is also made without cheese, so it's great for anyone who isn't eating dairy. Occasionally Eggs says, "If you're not too fond of tahini, don't worry — the basil and garlic are the major flavours here and tahini adds a bit of creaminess and umami flavour without the high price point of pine nuts."

This might differ based on how much tahini your recipe includes, and you can always try several recipes and adjust to your taste preference. Food52's recipe mentions that their tahini pesto adds "a mildly bitter tang," and you can use it the same way you would use any pesto. Drizzle a generous portion on a plate of vegetables, use it in a salad dressing, or spread it on a sandwich. Need suggestions of what you can do with pesto besides using it as a pasta sauce? There are plenty of dishes you can make with pesto.