My younger and much hipper sister turned me on to Soom tahini — and it is so amazing. You could make all these recipes with generic tahini, but the results are so much better with Soom that it’s just worth sourcing some to up your game. If you aren’t familiar with tahini, it’s simply ground sesame seeds, but the texture and flavor can vary depending on the sesame seeds’ sourcing and processing. 

Tahini Herb Dressing

The New York Times shared this recipe in the spring, and I’ve adapted it ever so slightly. It’s great as a dip or a dressing on grilled escarole and radicchio. I like the contrast with a slightly bitter green.

Makes 3 cups of dressing, serves six

1 cup Soom tahini

½ cup lemon juice

¾ cup water (or ⅔ cups water if using as a dip for crudités)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional

½ cup finely chopped dill

½ cup finely chopped parsley

½ cup finely chopped chives

Salt and pepper

4 heads radicchio or escarole 

LOCAL INGREDIENTS: garlic, syrup, dill, parsley, chives, escarole, romaine

Immersion-blend the tahini, lemon juice and water. Add the remaining ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Halve escarole or radicchio and toss lightly in oil. In a grill pan or on a grill, grill until nicely charred and limp. Dress generously with herb dressing.

Tahini Ice Cream

This original ice cream flavor is something completely different. Love tahini? Then you will love this ice cream. Tahini is perfect paired with yogurt — or cream as it is here.

Makes one quart

6 egg yolks

1-¾ cups milk

¾ cup honey

⅔ cup tahini

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup heavy cream

LOCAL INGREDIENTS: eggs, milk, honey, cream

Whisk together the yolks, milk, honey, tahini and salt.

Pour into a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and coats the spoon or registers 165 degrees. Remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir a minute longer. Add cream.

Chill and churn according to the ice cream machine instructions. Freeze for several hours before serving.

Tahini Blondies

The way I was introduced to Soom tahini was with these blondies. I’ve never been into blondies before, but these are so good and so easy! Full of flavor and a bit gooey, they are a real treat. The recipe is from Danielle Oron, author of “Modern Israeli Cooking.” It’s perfect as is!

Makes sixteen 2” x 2” pieces

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Soom tahini

White sesame seeds

Sea salt flakes

LOCAL INGREDIENTS: butter, eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter baking pan, line with parchment, letting it overhang the pan so you can easily remove the blondies later, and butter the top of the parchment.

Mix flour and salt. Whisk together melted butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs and mix until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract and tahini.

Fold in the flour and salt. Spread in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sea salt flakes.

Bake for about 26 minutes. They will still seem slightly gooey, but that is how they are!