For a coarser texture and more flavorful tahini, use unhulled seeds. For something smoother and creamier, go with the hulled sesame. I used a mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil. I found the flavor of the olive oil over-powering in a large quantity, but liked having a little bit to give it complexity. I also used a lot more total oil than most recipes out there call for (1:1 seeds to oil versus 4:1). If you find your paste comes together with less, by all means hold your horses. —PhoebeLapine
Arrange the sesame seeds on a parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer. Toast the nuts until golden brown and fragrant, shaking the pan halfway through cooking to redistribute, about 6 minutes. Allow the seeds to cool slightly.
Transfer the sesame seeds to a small food processor or blender. Add the olive oil and puree, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until a paste forms.
Add the salt and ¼ cup of vegetable oil. Continue to puree until smooth. Add the water – this will give the mixture a lighter smoother texture. Puree until the tahini is thinner than a nut butter, smooth and spreadable. Add more vegetable oil in ¼ cup increments until you achieve this texture (it took me about 3/4 cup).
Transfer the tahini to a sterilized jar and keep in the fridge for up to a month, with all of your other condiments, or use immediately in your hummus recipe or as a nutty vinaigrette.
Phoebe is a writer, gluten-free chef, culinary instructor, award-winning blogger, and author of The Wellness Project. You can find her healthy comfort food and gluten-free finds on www.FeedMePhoebe.com