We've been in the mood for hummus lately, to the point where we had to crack a new jar of tahini. This reminded us of how much we love this ingredient, which is not only indispensable to Middle Eastern dishes like hummus and baba ghanouj but an excellent addition to salad dressing.
Made of ground sesame seeds, tahini is similar in texture to peanut butter, but it adds a unique smoky flavor to whatever you're preparing. A 16-ounce container usually costs between $6 and $8, and will last a long time; typically, you use just a few tablespoons for whatever recipe you're making.
Most supermarkets carry tahini, but finding it can be a challenge. Sometimes it's by the peanut butter, sometimes it's with the oils, sometimes it's in the catch-all "International" section. If you can't find it, ask—it's worth the effort.