My advice for you today: when in doubt, add tahini.
Judging by the number of jars of tahini I’ve gone through over the past few months, I must be in a constant state of doubt. I’m not mad about it.
My (un)savory affair with tahini started during my senior year of college while working on my theater thesis. Most mornings (and sometimes evenings), I would make myself bowls of oatmeal topped with unnecessary amounts of peanut butter to fuel my long rehearsals. But one day, I ran out of peanut butter and still needed my fix of #healthyfats, so I turned to the lonely jar of tahini in the fridge and spooned it all over that sweet, sweet bowl of oats.
The rest is history.
Since that fateful morning, I’ve put tahini on most things. (Did you know that medjool dates dipped in tahini taste just like Cadbury mini eggs? Maybe that’s just me…) One of my favorite ways to eat tahini, besides straight out of the jar, is with soba.
The sauce for these soba noodles hits all the right Asian take-out notes, and the tahini adds a richness that sesame oil alone cannot achieve. I like to pair the noodles with roasted vegetables so it’s not just one giant carb-party (although that sounds like a party I would like to be invited to).
Here, I use cauliflower and butternut squash, two of my favorites. The cauliflower gets wonderfully crispy in the hot oven, and the squash’s sweetness complements the zingy fresh ginger in the sauce. There’s lots of room for creativity here, though—feel free to use the vegetables you have on hand.
Or just eat the tahini straight out of the jar with a spoon. Or without a spoon. I’m not judging.
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- neck of a butternut squash, cubed
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 4 Tbsp. tahini
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. honey
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp. sweet chili sauce
- 1/2 tsp. hot chili oil
- for the soba
- 1 bunch soba noodles
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
- Thinly sliced radishes
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place the cauliflower florets in a medium bowl, drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Arrange the cauliflower on a baking sheet. Repeat with the cubed squash (I roasted the cauliflower and squash on separate trays so that the vegetables weren’t too crowded.) Roast for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned with crispy edges.
- Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl. Add more water to reach desired consistency (2 tablespoons worked for me, but it also depends on how thick your tahini is).
- Prepare the soba noodles according to package instructions. After straining, toss the noodles with the sesame oil to prevent them from clumping. Transfer the noodles back to the pot and add about 3/4 of the sauce. Toss to evenly coat.
- Arrange the noodles on plates and top with the roasted vegetables. Serve with sesame seeds, cilantro, thinly sliced radishes, and more sauce.