Eat With Your Eyes Week: Tahini gets dressed up

You’ve heard how we “eat with our eyes?” If not, then a quick tour of Pinterest – which is saturated with food porn – will support the idea that we love us some good-looking food. Why, then, is that my jumping off point for tahini, a plain beige paste with just about zero visual zing?

Quite possibly the worst photo I've taken of food.

Quite possibly the worst photo I’ve taken of food.

Well, tahini is sort of the plain white shirt of food. On its own, not much to look at. But it is can be dressed up and used in seemingly endless combinations that, when you catch a glance, are sure to whet the appetite.

Beet tahini salad

These roasted beets with orange-tahini dressing are what first caught my eye, thanks to the far-better photographs included in the original Roasted Root post. And then I found all sorts of other attractive tahini recipes, like a rainbow slaw with sweet tahini dressing, a Mediterranean-style pizza with minted tahini, and even chocolate tahini shortbread (hellooooo, gorgeous).

Lest I go too far down the road of objectification, let’s point out here that tahini is also beautiful on the inside – like, inside your body, where it delivers omega-3 and -6 fats, a reasonable amount of protein, and a good dose of copper and manganese. And it has an undeniably earthy smell and nut-like flavor that adds some depth and interest to a lot of vegetarian foods, in particular.

But if your food needs to pass your eyes before it gets anywhere near your mouth, go check out this week’s worth of recipes and the photos of good-looking tahini therein:

  • Roasted beets with orange-tahini dressing from The Roasted Root (here)
  • Rainbow slaw with sweet tahini dressing from Lunch Box Bunch (here)
  • Roasted butternut squash with tahini & bulgur from Foolproof Living (here)
  • Chickpea-stuffed eggplant with tahini sauce & couscous from Dishing up the Dirt (here)
  • Sweet potato veggie burgers from Love and Lemons (here)
  • Middle eastern pizza with minted tahini sauce & spelt crust from Just Eat Love (here)
  • Chocolate tahini shortbread bars from Spabettie (here)


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