Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Raleigh old-timers (at least those who have been here the past 10-15 years) may remember the Rathskeller restaurant on Hillsborough St. I was recently reminded of the delicious lemon-tahini dressing from that restaurant, and mentioned it to some of my friends. My friend Deniz (she’s Turkish) described to me how she makes a similar dressing, so I decided to give it a try. Here’s an approximate recipe I ended up with below. Other recipes I found online have various ratios of lemon juice to tahini, most  with equal amounts or slightly more lemon juice than tahini. I personally like this ratio with more tahini, though it makes for a pretty thick dressing. Then again, I’ve always been partial to the flavor of sesame – so feel free to play around and find your favorite ratio.

Lemon-Tahini Dressing
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt, more to taste
1/8 tsp. black pepper
water to desired consistency, 1/2 c. or more

Whisk together everything except water, then gradually add water while whisking.  The water not only helps to thin out the dressing to a reasonable drizzling consistency, but it also tones down the tart of the lemon and slightly bitter flavor of the tahini. Serve with a salad or as a vegetable dip.

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2 responses to “Lemon-Tahini Dressing

  1. Merhaba, I happened upon your site on accident, and I’m very happy that I found this great resource. I also have a love for international flavors (and culture). I have a question about Deniz’s cooking classes. We just got back from our 3rd trip to Turkey in November. We love the country, people, and food, and we have good friends there. I’d love to know if Deniz is still offering her classes, and if she has a website with details. Teşekkür ederim, Nicki

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