After visiting Ayat NYC yesterday in Bay Ridge, I wanted to attempt to make their baby eggplant dish at home. While in Bay Ridge, I picked up some baby eggplants as well as some Lebanese tahini imported from Lebanon while visiting Falahi Farms market, also owned by the same family that runs Ayat NYC. I’ve always loved tahini, but given we’ve always had limited pantry and fridge storage space, I didn’t want to buy it until I had specific things in mind that I wanted to use it for. And now that I cook more with the current pandemic, it made sense to buy this ingredient, as I’d have more time and opportunities to use it.
But the more I thought about tahini, and the more I spoke with the woman who worked at Falahi Farms, the more I realized that tahini is as versatile as you want it to be. For the Falahi cashier, she shared that she has tahini every single morning on her toast with honey. It’s almost like her peanut butter. But it’s also great in sauces with meat, as well as in salad and vegetable dressings. In the eggplant dish, all you need to do is literally drizzle the tahini over the eggplants, and you’re done. The tahini just needs to be mixed since it tends to get thick on the bottom of the jar.
I posted on Instagram stories that I bought this Lebanese tahini, and someone direct messaged me, insisting I mix the tahini with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and parsley to make “the best salad dressing ever.” That’s the beauty of food: it unites people everywhere.