Topped tahini sandwich
Tahini is a superfood and is very high in calcium, iron and protein. And if you miss dairy spreads, it has a taste that reminds me of dairy but in my opinion tastes even better.
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But make sure you get really good quality tahini. Most supermarkets sell tahini as well now but it's worth to look out for quality products like Al Arz tahini (you can get it online or at Ottolenghi in London). Once you taste the difference you will know! They good brands are much less bitter (though that's why you add lemon juice and salt to to it to neutralise the bitterness) and smoother, with a better consistency. The darker one has more nutrients by the way because the white variety has the skins removed so you lose some of the goodness. But for presentation purpouses it doesn't matter as much because the lemon juice will help to bleach this tahini spread and turn it from a light brown to an off white colour.
I just came back from a vegan food tour through Israel and I am so inspired after all the incredible food we had there! So I have to admit, I got the idea for this recipe from the cafe next to our beautiful boutique hotel Sam & Blondi (Tel Aviv is known for it's beautiful boutique hotels). It's a very new hotel on Sheinkin Street and super central. Because it was so new the cafe didn't have a name yet when we got there, but it's literally next door and served us what they called a salad sandwich for breakfast. It was my favourit breakfast all week so when I came back I had to remake this sandwich because it was soo good! Israel is generally a vegan paradise but sometimes it's the simplest things that are the most delicious ones. And more credit is due - the photos above and below were taken by our amazing tour photographer Amir Menahem, who takes the most incredible pictures.
This is us sitting in front of the cafe listening to Tamar from Vibe Israel who organised this vegan tour for us. It was so interesting to learn about the history and the different food influences of Israel. It has the highest vegan population in the world, so eating out is extremely easy for vegan.
Talking of our hotel, we had this amazing 360 rooftop view I just had to share with you! And, even though it was November, we had up to 32C! The weather in Israel is generally quite warm througout the year, that's why you get all those amazing quality veggies and fruits, which are all grown locally.
And here is my home-made version again. You can top it with your favourite veggies. One thing I deffo want to try is to top it with fried oyster mushrooms and chives. This tahini spread is like a dairy spread, so it basically goes with any veggies you could think of.
In my version I am using tomatoes, some peppers and parsley on an olive bread. Mainly because these ingredients are available all year round and the olive bread perfectly complements the tahini spread. But get creative and make this sandwich seasonal, e.g. by adding roasted veggies in autumn and winter.
Vegan tahini sandwich spread:
- 4 tbsp good quality tahini
- Juice of 1/2 small lime
- 2 tbsp cold water
- A good amount of salt (to taste)
Sandwich and toppings:
- Olive bread (or any bread)
Mix together all tahini sandwich spread ingredients in a bowl. Tahini is a bit funny: first it's liquid and then when you add water and lemon juice is thickens. Stir until it has a nice sandwich spread consistency. Also don't be shy with the salt, tahini needs quite a lot of seasoning.
The toast some olive bread - or any other bread you like. Chop up some tomatoes and peppers (or any veggies you fancy) and finely chop up some parsley. Spread the tahini on your sandwich and add the veggie topping. Done! Your perfect breakfast - or dinner ever. It has been my dinner twice this week! Try it and let me know what you think. I certainly am a superfan now ;-) Enjoy!
And if you are looking for a gluten-free base for your tahini spread, why not combine it with this incredibly delicious chickpea polenta quiche.