So, the other day I met someone who dropped a bombshell. "I never eat tahini," she declaimed. "It's a salmonella risk."
I don't normally go in for wacko food panic but she was someone who would know about such things. I thought of how I merrily slap tahini into hummus or sauces or help the Small Girl put it on toast and felt a bit faint. Then I came home and made my own. My kitchen is probably less sterile than any tahini processing factory, but it was fun all the same. And from a thrift point of view, doing it yourself is very cheap.
This is a method I worked out after a bit of net surfing. It produces a darker, grainer paste than shop-bought, but I like its nutty flavour.
1 cup sesame seeds
4-5Tbsp olive oil
Toast the sesame seeds lightly in a dry pan - and I mean lightly. Don't wander away or get distracted, give them your undivided attention for about three minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Tip the seeds into a food processor and whiz until they start to form a paste (a couple of minutes). Drizzle in the oil until the mixture slackens to the consistency you want. Scrape into a sterilised jar and store in the fridge.