Tahini-Lemon Sauce

CSA member Alice sent me this simple recipe for a light quick meal. Alice says: “We just lightly fry or steam our greens, put them on rice and top with the sauce and sunflower or sesame seeds. Voila. Easy dinner with awesome share veggies.”

For my own part, I used to work at a vegan organic restraurant where something very similar was on the menu. Brown basmati rice was topped with tofu, lightly steamed veggies (usually carrots, beets and cabbage) and a choice of a few different sauces. My favourite was by far was this tahini one. I took to making the sauce at home and a quick lunch for me was rice with chopped up raw veggies and the sauce.

The recipe Alice sent is from the website of Mollie Katzen, author of the famous The Moosewood Cookbook.

“Tahini-Lemon Sauce is very versatile: It can be thinned down to the consistency of a salad dressing or left thick enough to be a sandwich spread or a dip. Find a medium thickness, and use it as a sauce for steamed vegetables. This just may become a regular on your dinner table! Oh, and another attribute: It keeps for weeks in an airtight container in your refrigerator.”

Tahini-Lemon Sauce


  • ¾ cup sesame tahini
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¾ to 1 ½ cups water depending on desired thickness
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt to taste (varies with amount of water used)
  • handful fresh parsley very finely minced
  • Cayenne to taste


  1. Place the tahini, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. (You can also use a blender.) Begin to process.
  2. Keeping the motor running, slowly drizzle in the water, checking every now and then to monitor the consistency. When it is as thick as you want it, turn off the machine.
  3. Transfer to a medium-small bowl or container, and season to taste with salt, parsley, and cayenne. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready for use. If you're using this as a sauce for steamed vegetables, serve at room temperature over hot, freshly cooked vegetables (any assortment!)