Take the sesame seeds out of the cupboard and give them a whirl in surprising ways.

Corey Olsen

Small but mighty, sesame seeds give crunch and depth to sweet and savory recipes. While they come in a variety of colors, you’ll mostly find white, brown, or black ones in supermarkets. (There’s little difference in taste, so choose your color based on how it looks with the dish you’re planning.) The seeds make for a flavorful crust on fish and add texture and pretty decoration to spiced cookies. Toast them to bring out a nuttiness that lends a nice finishing flavor to noodle dishes or glazed eggplant. For maximum freshness, store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Recipes by Mary Claire Britton

Antonis Achilleos

Coat a flaky, white-fleshed fish with sesame seeds spiced with cumin and coriander and you’ve got the most delicious “breadcrumbs” in all the land. Sesame seeds add pleasant nuttiness and crunch, plus, it’s gluten-free.

Get the recipe: Sesame Snapper

Antonis Achilleos

If you hadn’t thought to add sesame seeds to your cookies yet, you’ve been doing it all wrong. A simple cookie dough gets a major flavor boost with orange zest, cardamom, and toasted sesame seeds.

Get the recipe: Sesame and Cardamom Cookies

Antonis Achilleos

Sesame seeds play the perfect topper in this eggplant recipe. Try it with black sesame seeds for a different, more striking look.

Get the recipe: Miso Eggplant With Sesame Seeds