Tahini tomato sauce

LEVEL: Advanced



1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 garlic clove
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 x 200g can plum tomatoes
100ml hot vegetable stock
50g light tahini lemon juice
salt and ground black pepper


Although sesame seeds have quite a distinct flavour, once they’re mixed with oil and turned into a creamy tahini, this strength is mellowed. Tahini is a pillar of Middle Eastern cooking and is used in so many different ways, for its flavour, texture or density. Here it transforms a simple tomato base into a luxuriously unctuous sauce – delicious spooned over a piece of grilled fish or chicken and a must for the Comptoir Mixed Grill (page 104).

Pour the oil into a pan. Stir in the chopped onion and sauté over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes until golden tinges appear on the edges.

Add the coriander seeds, garlic and chilli and cook for a minute or two, again stirring around the base of the pan so that everything cooks evenly. Season well.

Pour in the tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid, turn the heat down low and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Allow the mixture to cool, then whizz in a food processor until smooth. Whisk in the tahini sauce, add a squeeze of lemon juice to balance the acidity and taste to check the seasoning, adding more if you think it needs it.