A Mediterranean Feast and Homemade Tahini Sauce

While I was in Israel, the BOY and I decided it would be fun to host our families for a Mediterranean themed day complete with food and photos.  Although the BOY has not been to Israel, some of our family members have (his parents were there over 30 years ago), so we encouraged everyone to bring their photos and stories.  It’s no secret that the BOY’s favorite food is Mediterranean food, but we’ve never made a middle eastern feast before today!




Today’s Menu

Olives and Cheese

Hummus and Pita

Chicken and Kofte Kabobs

Seasoned Potatoes

Mediterranean Salad

No Bake Strawberry Pie

Pistachio Salad


We picked up some olives and salad ingredients yesterday at the grocery store.  The BOY had researched the meat, so I left that to him. 



Beef and Lamb Kabobs


I whipped up a batch of Garlic Hummus and my first ever homemade tahini sauce.




I brought this sesame paste back from Israel.




It is a homemade sauce sold at the Shuk (market) in Jerusalem.


DSCN0959 DSCN0958


When I bought it, I got a lesson in tahini making from the shop owner and memorized what he told me in hopes of making a tahini as tasty as I had in Israel.  I was told that when you combine the ingredients, it will look like they won’t work and then all of a sudden, you will have tahini.




Which is exactly what happened.  I didn’t get measurements with my recipe and was just told to add equal parts sesame and ice cold water and then salt, garlic powder, and lemon.




In my first batch, I used a little too much lemon, but was able to adjust it for my second batch (and then combine them together).




I have to admit that I didn’t measure out my ingredients and added extra water, salt, and garlic per taste, so take the measurements below with a grain of salt (or a dash of tahini).


IMG_2301 IMG_2303


The BOY did fantastic seasoning the meat with some of the new spices that I brought back from Israel and he grilled everything perfectly!



Za ‘atar and I can’t remember!


Our feast was unbelievable!  Thanks to Naf Naf for the fluffy pita!




We all dug right into our meaty pita sandwiches, adding in the potatoes and smothering it all with tahini.




It was like being back in Israel!

The BOY and I can’t wait to have another Mediterranean night!  I may even try to make falafel again!



Do you like Mediterranean food?

What do you think the red spice is?



Tahini Sauce

Recipe from Israel



1/4 cup sesame paste

1/4 cup ice cold water (plus more as needed)

~1/4 tsp salt

~1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2-1 tbsp lemon juice



Add in 1/4 cup sesame paste with ice cold water*.

Sprinkle in salt, garlic powder, and lemon juice.

Whisk until well combined, adding in tablespoons of cold water until desired consistency is reached.

Serve with rice, couscous, meat, or veggie pita sandwiches.


*Note:  I placed water and a few ice cubes in a bowl for a few minutes and then took the water from there.

17 thoughts on “A Mediterranean Feast and Homemade Tahini Sauce

  1. I am 1/2 Italian-with my Grandparents being immigrants- so yes I LOVE any kind of Mediterranean food. I can make a meal on just olives and cheese (that is before-now moderation-but I have olives every week and always have some very tasty ones in my fridge to be able to add a few to spice up something bland. I am intrigued with the homemade tahini sauce-bravo! What kind of pickles did you use?
    The red spice-I have no idea-it looks interesting and kind of like some sort pepper thing-what does it taste like? The meat looked absolutely awesome-the Boy sure knows his way around a grill!

    • That he does! My Mom can attest to that!
      We got the pickles and cabbage at Naf Naf when we picked up the pita. I think they are called Jerusalem pickles. The olives were from Mariano’s and everyone raved about them. I know I will have the best lunch on the block with leftovers for today!

  2. YUMSERS! so, the BOY explained how to build the meal, put the red cabbage in the bottom of the pita, add the pickles, put in the meat, carefully stuff in a pickled turnip, top with cucumber onion salad and a bit more red cabbage…. each of the ingredients alone tasted strange… together? AMAZING!

    the olives were fine, but the dried apricots? hmmm, good.

    So fun to be the mom of DD and the BOY!

  3. DROOOOOOOOL. Kafta kabobs are definitely on my top ten list of food loves. THIS ALL LOOKS AMAZING. You have so many skills, I am feeling like a lame duck in the kitchen right now.

  4. Your meal looks amazing! I LOVE Mediterranean food! One of our favorite restaurants in MSP is Shish… the kabobs are fantastic! Excited to read about your trip (I’m behind on blog reading)!

  5. Sounds like such a fun party idea- love it!
    I can’t believe you brought that sesame paste back with you! Thank goodness it didn’t spill!
    I love Mediterranean food but don’t eat it nearly often enough.

    • It’s the BOY’s fave so we get there fairly often. Luckily we have some good and fresh options in our town. The guy who I bought it from like triple wrapped it up and I packed it away well, so I was thrilled that everything survived the flight!

  6. […] I have seen some mouth watering cookies, cakes, and bars popping up on blogs all week.  Although I love drooling over the pictures, I’m not one who is super motivated to turn on my oven mid summer when my air conditioning is kicking in over time to keep me cool.  For this reason, I found two no bake recipes from the way back of my recipe binder to compliment this weekend’s Mediterranean Feast. […]

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