Chicken with Tahini Sauce

Something that is very simple to make is my grilled chicken with tahini sauce. Tahini sauce the way Nani makes it ūüėč


. 1/2 cup tahini

. 1/2 cup – 1 cup water (depending on how thick you want your sauce

. 4 fresh mint leaves, chopped finely

. 1/4 brunch parsley, chopped finely

. 1 tomato cut into tiny cubes

. 1/2 tbsp salt

. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

. 1 tsp cumin

. Juice of 1/2 lemon

. 4 chicken breasts


1. Heat either a grill pan or your outdoor grill to 500 degrees fahrenheit and heat your oven to 350 degrees farenheit.

2. Salt and grill the chicken breasts, 5 minutes on each side and then transfer to a sheet pan and cover with foil. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.

3. While the chicken is baking, in a bowl using a whisk mix all the rest of the ingredients together. At first it might look like it’s just too chunky but just keep whisking and add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until you get to your desired consistency.

4. Once the chicken is done baking, plate it and top with the tahini sauce.


Special People//Special Occasions

When I was 6 years old, my parents enrolled me into an all Armenian music conservatory. I learned everything about music and studied¬†classical piano, choir, and dance. One of my best friends, Alik (my sister from another mother really…) was the Founder’s daughter. Her¬†family has¬†been my second family since I was a little girl. They have invested in me in every way possible and have taught me so much. The Barsoumian’s are¬†a family of fine gems, each one beautiful in their own way.

Baron Vatsche (Alik’s dad, Baron means Mr. out of respect and because he’s always been my teacher), had his birthday this week. Alik, her brother Shahe, and I thought, “How great would it be if we had a nice dinner with the family and close friends for his birthday?” So I got to work and came up with a menu. I decided to make stuffed figs (they’re in season, and my favorite thing to make), filet mignon rested on top of a sweet potato and brussel sprouts puree, and my chicken¬†and pesto lasagna. Come to find out later those are actually Baron Vatsche’s favorite dishes!



We all had an amazing evening. Every time I am with them we have amazing conversations about art, politics, spirituality, and many deep life concepts.

Happy Birthday Baron Vatsche, I hope for many more beautiful times in life. Cheers

Sartu Di Riso

This is such a delicious dish to prepare¬†ahead of time¬†for a fun gathering with family or friends. It looks fancy, tastes amazing, and really fun to make. It’s also great for those that are gluten free. With some time the day before you serve, you can prep a whole dish just to pop in the oven and done!

Sartu di Riso is a traditional Italian dish that comes from Naples. There are two types, rosso (red) and bianco (white). There are so many stories as to which is the correct and traditional way to prepare this dish, so I just made it my own and went green. I love pesto, as you can tell, so I made the sartu with a white bolognese sauce and topped it with pesto.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes with a comment!


2 cups Arborio Rice
3 cups water (you can substitute this with low sodium chicken broth too)
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
3 eggs
3 tablespoons EVOO
1/2 pound ground pork
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup peas
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 thyme sprig
1 small rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
3 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pink peppercorns
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg  
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped pancetta
1 finely chopped shallot 
1 finely chopped peeled carrot 
3 tablespoons ricotta
  1. Put everything for the rice in a pot and bring to a boil. After its come to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook the rice for 20 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  2.  If serving this the same day, preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the EVOO and add the garlic. When the garlic becomes fragrant, add the shallots.
  4. Add the frozen peas until they have cooked through.
  5. Using the same saucepan, cook the pancetta until its crispy.
  6. Next add the chicken until it is golden. Then add the ground sausage and pistachios. Cook through.
  7. Add the wine and cook over moderate heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add the cream and chicken stock to the pan, then stir in the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, garlic, pink pepper, nutmeg and a generous pinch each of salt and black pepper. Bring just to a simmer. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  9. Once the sauce has thickened, mix in the ricotta and set aside.
  10. In a separate bowl put the rice and mix it with the eggs until it is very sticky.
  11. You will need a bowl filled with water for your hands. Using a generously olive oiled bundt pan, add 2/3 of the rice and push it against the walls and bottom of the pan creating 1 inch thick walls.
  12. Spoon the bolognese mixture into the well.
  13. Spoon the rest of the rice on the top and press against the rice along the edges.
  14. drizzle the top with EVOO and put in the oven for 40-45 minutes – until the edges and top are a golden brown.
  15. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes when you take it out of the oven.
  16. Place a plate upside down on the bundt pan and flip the bundt pan over to put the Sartu di Riso onto the plate. Top it with pesto and serve.