Tahini Pesto

March 31, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • makes 3/4 cup
Author Notes

Tahini replaces the pine nuts and a lot of the oil in traditional pesto, lending a mildly bitter tang. Use it as you would any pesto—on pasta, grilled fish, pizza, or to jazz up a plate of scrambled eggs.

Reprinted with permission from The Tahini Table by Amy Zitelman, Agate Publishing, November 2020.Amy Zitelman

What You'll Need
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced with coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons premium tahini
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Combine the garlic and lemon juice in a food processor. Let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the tahini and pulse a few times until just combined. Don’t worry if it gets thick and grainy. Add the basil and water and pulse until everything is uniformly green, about 10 pulses. With the processor turned on, drizzle in the olive oil in a slow stream and process until the pesto is smooth and creamy. Scrape into a bowl or storage container and stir in the Parmesan.
  3. Store in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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CEO of Soom. Forbes30u30 '18. Author of The Tahini Table

1 Review

Liz K. April 5, 2021
This is actually a genius recipe. I'm young and broke, so I can't afford pine nuts. The tahini is actually a great, affordable substitution.