Sesame seed aoili

Shown here with a pinch of smoked paprika and herbes de Provence, this is a simple, flavourful alternative for those moments when you just want a little spread for your sandwich or to add a little extra flavour and body to salad dressings. No need to blend up a block of tofu or try to get soy mik and a cup of oil to emulsify.

2T sesame seed butter (as opposed to tahini — I use a fairly traded brand)
2T unsweetened soy milk
1T white pickling vinegar (or to taste)
1t lemon juice
1/2t fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
1-3t cold water
Coarse sea salt to taste

Optional: Add red Thai chili, more garlic, black pepper, fresh tarragon, basil, dill, dried herbs,ginger, black salt, turmeric, nutritional yeast, curry powder, toasted sesame oil, za’atar spice mix, or any number of other flavours. Replace the sesame butter with cashew butter for something a little sweeter.

Note: Pickling vinegar is normally double strength white vinegar. You can use regular white vinegar, but you may need additional seed butter (and skip the water) to balance it out in terms of flavour and consistency. Other plant milks — even water should work, but depending on what you use, colour, consistency, keep time may all vary.

Mix the sesame seed butter with the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, and soy milk until the sesame thickens and becomes fluffy. This will take a minute or so of mixing. The sesame will change colour and become smooth and creamy. You can also blend the mixture with the garlic as well (garlic is an emulsifying agent). I usually don’t bother with a quantity this small. Add the coarse sea salt and 1t cold water, and mix.

At this point, the flavor will be quite sharp. Add any additional flavours you like, stir to combine, and then let stand at least 5 minutes. Add cold water 1 teaspoon at a time till you get the consistency and flavour that suits your. If you make it too thin or you find the taste too sharp, add additional sesame seed butter and continue to adjust — although the flavour will mellow with more stand time and it will further thicken if refrigerated.