Meatballs with Tahini and Tomatoes Recipe

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Tahini is a remarkably versatile ingredient. Its rich, nutty flavor adds unique character to everything from cookies, to roasted veggies, raw veggie salads and simmer sauces. For tahini newbies, be patient when you’re mixing tahini with water and lemon. Go for the right texture first, adding more water and lemon until the sauce is pourable. The paste will turn from beige to white-ish, letting you know that you are heading in the right direction. Season with fresh minced garlic and whichever green herb you like best.

This tahini sauce can be stored in a sealed container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Add more water or lemon juice if it thickens up.

It’s not uncommon to find meatballs or fish fillets simmered in tahini when dining in Israel. To avoid having the sauce seize up, I’ve cooked these meatballs on the stovetop and layered them with tahini in an oven-to-table casserole. Stick the casserole under the broiler just long enough to relax the tomatoes and reheat the meatballs. Be sure to garnish generously as this dish needs a pop of color to brighten the creamy sauce.

A note about this recipe: The tahini will turn a bit golden and appear thickened after being exposed to the broiler. Fear not! Once you spoon the sauce it will be deliciously runny. Serve these meatballs over brown rice or couscous and enjoy the broiled tomatoes. For a complete meal, serve with chopped Israeli style salad or wok your favorite green veggie (broccoli, bok choy or spinach) and serve alongside these delicious meatballs.

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