Tahini Sauce with Herbs

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The color of tahini always makes me think of my favorite pottery glaze: shino. I learned about shino from my beloved mentor, Malcolm Davis, The Shino Warrior. Malcolm was famous for developing a carbon trap shino, Although his name will forever be associated with these glazes, they remained a mystery to him. I asked him a technical question once and he replied, “What do you think I am, a shino expert?” His unofficial self-title was “The Shino Worrier.”

I first met Malcolm in the summer of 2001 at Peter’s Valley. Bob and the kids used to visit me when I was there. I let Malcolm know they would be joining us for dinner. he said, “Just make sure you keep them away from me, I hate kids!” Of course, Brian, then 9, decided to sit right next to the Bourbon-drinking master of porcelain. I tried to find a conversational gambit that would help make everyone friends…

Brian has just learned about Martin Luther King in school, so I pointed out that Malcolm had worked alongside King in the 60’s. My son was quiet for a moment, and then he looked at the great potter. “how do you feel about black children,” he asked. Malcolm stammered, “um….fine, I don’t have anything against black children,” “Oh,” said Brian, “So, it’s only white children you hate?” Malcolm howled. He lived for 14 years after that and I heard him tell that story many times.

IMG_3298 Shinos are very varied. Sometimes, they are creamy, like tahini. They can blush. In a salt kiln or wood and salt, they look almost white. I’ve seen mottled deep green shinos; Malcolm called them “green snot.” Carbon trap shinos have black spots, and range in color from ivory to pink to orange. If a pot went orangey without spots, Malcolm turned up his nose and scoffed, “shit fucking pumpkin orange!”

I learned a lot about shino, porcelain, and making pots from Malcom. Mostly, I learned to appreciate a well made piece of pottery. Malcolm said, “if you have never wanted to lick a pot, I feel sorry for you,” I agree!

To celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King and to honor The Shino Warrior, I developed a tahini sauce that tastes good on almost everything!  I used my shino pots in most of the photos. You might see some additional glazes, but shino was always  applied before any other glaze, because “shino first or you’re cursed.”

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Tahini Sauce with Herbs

1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup yogurt
1 scallion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbs agave
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients to combine. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Garnish with additional cilantro and scallions.

Variations: Add freshly grated or chopped candied ginger. Add lime zest. Use lemon instead of lime. Add sesame seeds or sesame oil. Add a little soy sauce. Add a few dashes of hot sauce. We like Frank’s or Sriracha.

This sauce is wonderful on salmon or shrimp, as shown here. It makes a lovely basis for an abundance bowl. You will love it on grilled meats or poultry. Try it with chicken tenders, roasted sweet potatoes, or as a salad dressing. Experiment and let me know!

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4 Responses to Tahini Sauce with Herbs

  1. mammalfish says:

    Shit fucking pumpkin orange. He was a great man.

    Like

  2. Carol Eaton says:

    I like using Shino in a soda kiln because you never quite know what you’re going to get. Malcolm sounds a bit like his glaze. When he begins to speak you never know what you’re going to get. I would’ve enjoyed meeting him and learning from him.

    Like

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