What a great way for me to start blogging by introducing you to the sauce of all sauces, Lebanese Garlic Sauce (Toum). Being raised in a multicultural house, we had a variety of foods; both ethnic and the comforts of home, the pacific northwest meets my mother’s home state of Iowa meets the amazing food of Lebanon. My father grew up in Lebanon, and he taught me so many things in regards to his home country; that it could fill its own blog. One great thing was being introduced to the love of garlic by my parents. Garlic is our go to spice, the way butter is to the south, or turmeric is to Indian cuisine.
From a very young age, my taste buds adapted to all flavors and forms of garlic. My favorite has to be my family’s garlic sauce. Every Saturday dinner, my dad would make chicken, salad, pita bread and of course garlic sauce!
Lebanese garlic sauce can be eaten as a dip for cooked meat, mixed with mayo for an amazing sandwich or as a marinade for anything (from chicken to steaks, or veggies). I have even mixed it with mayo and a touch more lemon juice to make a great dip for steamed artichoke leaves.
You can make as little as you need, or an abundance of it to keep in your fridge for up to two weeks. However, I don’t believe mine has ever lasted that long, because we add it to everything!
Let’s get started! All you need is a few bulbs of garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Yep, that easy. Grab your food processor and let’s get to work.
Peel all your garlic, yes there are many ways to properly peel garlic. I find taking a wide blade of a knife, and smashing them is the easiest way to get the peel off. I would suggest using two bulbs of garlic for a nice amount of the sauce.
Drop all the garlic in a processor with a half tablespoon of salt, puree it up. Allow the garlic to puree till its well-blended with the salt. Allow the processor to keep pureeing on high, and add about a quarter cup of lemon juice.
Once blended, slowly start drizzling in the olive oil. This is where exact measurements are a bit tricky, it all depends on your taste. I would suggest starting out with a half cup of olive oil and going from there. The longer the food processor is on high and the slower you drizzle in the oil, will create the most creamy emulsified garlic sauce.
The texture of it could get thick like a creamy mayo. Side note, my dad makes the best garlic sauce and has the patience of a king to create the marshmallow creation of garlic. Taste the garlic sauce, if it’s too lemony add more oil, if it is too oily add more lemon. Now devour!! With pita bread, or mixed with pureed garbanzo beans for a stellar hummus. Enjoy, and don’t even get me started about all the spices, herbs, and veggies you can add to this to create such dimension. Have fun, and cheers to the next blog.
Lebanese Garlic Sauce (Toum)Course: CookingDifficulty: Easy
2 bulbs of garlic, peeled
1/2 tablespoon of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 good quality olive oil
- Supplies Needed
- Take peeled garlic and drop in the food processor. Make sure your food processor or blender has an opening to dispense the liquids into the sauce.
- Add the salt to the garlic, and puree. Once well mixed, add the lemon juice and continue to puree.
- When all is blended, here comes the patient part, start slowly (and I mean slowly) drizzle in the olive oil. Keep the food processor/blender going even after you stop pouring in the oil. The longer it goes, the more emulsifying happens.
- Once it gets to a consistency like a creamy mayo, taste the garlic. Add more oil if it’s too lemony, and add more lemon if it’s too oily. Dad always said, do not waste a bit of the sauce so make sure you use a spatula and clean the food processor up. Place garlic sauce in a Tupperware and it should keep for up to two weeks or use right away.
- Place garlic sauce in a Tupperware and it should keep for up to two weeks or use right away.