Tahini-Lemon Sauce

(recipe, Mollie Katzen)


Make a batch of this on a regular basis — it's remarkably quick and easy. It can be thinned down to the consistency of a salad dressing (try it on romaine lettuce with chunks of ripe tomato and Kalamata olives) or left thick enough to be either a spread or a dip for raw vegetables and crackers. Find a consistency somewhere between thick and thin, and use it as a sauce for steamed greens, carrots, and cauliflower. Serve it with Falafel, or drizzled over hummus in a pita bread sandwich. Tahini-Lemon Sauce is as indispensable as it is hard to categorize. By the way, another attribute: it keeps for weeks if stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.


  1. ¾ cup sesame tahini
  2. 5 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 small to medium clove garlic, minced
  4. ¾ to 1½ cup water (depending on desired thickness)
  5. ½ to 1 tsp. salt, to taste (will vary with amount of water used)
  6. a handful of very finely minced fresh parsley
  7. optional: cayenne, to taste


  1. Place tahini, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. (You can also use a blender.) Begin to process.
  2. Keeping the motor running, slowly drizzle in the water, checking every now and then to monitor the consistency. When it is as thick/thin as you want it, turn of the machine.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl or container, and season to taste with salt, parsley, and, if desired, cayenne. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready for use.


* Earlier versions of this recipe contained yogurt or buttermilk. This one is dairy-free.