Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.
Today: A nut butter altnernative, for when all you want to dirty is a knife.
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There are days when you feel like whisking eggs and gently nudging them around a pan until they form soft, creamy curds. And there are days when you don’t. There are days when you feel like cutting butter into flour, or firing up the waffle iron, or stirring a pot of porridge, or flipping pancakes. And there are days when you don’t. There are days when you feel like you can handle cleaning the blender or waiting for the oven to preheat or pulling out mixing bowls. And there are days when you don’t.
Toast with nut butter is there for you on all those days when you don’t. It’s easy, filling, pretty nutritious, and tasty every time. But now, I’d like to introduce you to an alterna-nut butter option that fills the same requirement but is not actually a nut butter at all: tahini. Sesame seed paste! You probably already have a jar around for adding to hummus or stirring into salad dressing. Now it is time to start adding it to crunchy pieces of toast and topping it with lots of cinnamon, honey, and sea salt.
Tahini gives you the same warm, savory, goopy feeling that peanut butter does, but with the unique toasty fragrance of sesame seeds. I got this idea from Jess -- of the lovely blog Sweet Amandine -- who got it from a café in Jerusalem. She has you stir tahini, honey, and cinnamon together before spreading them on toast, but I prefer to splatter on one after the next in messy, Pollock-esque swirls and layers. I don’t use actual measurements as I feel that would defy my nut-buttered toast requirement of extreme ease. My preferred measurement for this is “generous,” and I apply it to all ingredients from the tahini to the honey to the thickness of the bread for toasting. And don’t -- do. not. -- leave off the sprinkling of sea salt. It pulls all the flavors together and makes it sparkle. Appropriately generous sprinkling of cinnamon and sea salt cover up this breakfast’s fundamentally lazy nature and make it seem sophisticated. And all you had to do was dirty one knife.
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.