Q. I like to occasionally make homemade hummus, which calls for a small amount of tahini in the recipe. Tahini is a Middle Eastern sesame paste that is called for a lot of recipes, but I mostly use mine for hummus. The problem is that tahini comes in fairly large jars, but I only ever need to use a tablespoon or two at a time. It’s fairly expensive, and I usually end up throwing out almost a whole container because I can’t use it all in time. I was wondering if I could possibly freeze it to make it last longer, but I don’t know if that’s possible. Can you freeze tahini?
A. Tahini is one of my favourite things to add to my cooking, but I agree that a little goes a long way. Fortunately, tahini freezes quite well, so you can go ahead and freeze your leftovers for later. While you can freeze tahini in its original container, I don’t think that method makes the most sense for your needs. Freezing it that way will mean that you have to thaw the whole container out to use it, and then you will just be right back where you started with leftover tahini. Instead, I suggest you freeze it in single serving sizes.
The easiest way to do that is to portion it out using ice cube trays. Spoon the tahini into an ice cube tray. Each cube is about a tablespoon, so it will be easy for you to defrost just the right amount later. Once your tray is full, pop it in the freezer. After all the cubes have frozen, pop them out of the ice cube tray and place them in freezer bags. Repeat the process until all your tahini has been frozen. Seal the freezer bag after squeezing out as much excess air as possible, but leave a little bit of wiggle room to allow for expansion during the freezing process. Label and date the freezer bag. Place it in the freezer until the next time you need tahini to make hummus.
To use frozen tahini, remove the required amount from the freezer and allow it to thaw in a small bowl in the fridge or on the counter. When completely thawed, give it a stir to restore its consistency, and then use it in your favourite hummus recipe. Unused tahini can be kept refrigerated for a few days, but I wouldn’t recommend refreezing it.