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Serious Garlic Sauce, or Toum

Serious Garlic Sauce, or Toum

Recipe by Maureen Abood

Fluffy toum sauce is delicious with any type of barbecued meat, particularly chicken, beef, or lamb, and grilled vegetables. Try it spread on thick slices of crusty bread and broiled for some of the finest garlic toast around. Check this toum demo out by the talented Lebanese Chef Kamal Al-Faqih. My recipe is an adaptation of his (from his Classic Lebanese Cuisine, published in 2009 by Three Forks, an imprint of The Globe Pequot Press). Be sure to use a food processor, spatula, and measuring cup that are completely dry—water can cause the emulsion to break. Choose garlic that is firm and fresh.

1 cup very fresh garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup lemon juice
4 cups neutral oil (like canola or grapeseed)

Cut the garlic cloves in half lengthwise and remove the green center sprout. Even if the sprout is barely there or mostly white, remove it, as it causes a bitter flavor.

Place the garlic and salt in the bowl of the food processor and pulse until it is finely minced, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl between pulses.

In a very thin, slow stream that is so slow it stops to a dribble at times, pour about ½ cup of oil into the running processor with the garlic. Then add slowly add about two teaspoons of lemon juice while the processor is running. Turn off the processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue in this manner, alternating oil and lemon juice in very slow, steady streams and stopping occasionally to scrape down the bowl. The mixture will turn fluffy and white.

Scrape into a bowl or container with an airtight lid, but don’t put the lid on yet. Cover the toum with a paper towel and refrigerate for about 12 hours, chilling the sauce completely and removing some of the moisture which would cause the toum to separate if covered immediately with the airtight lid. Then cover with the airtight lid and refrigerate for up to one month.

If your toum tastes ‘hot’ from the garlic, let it rest for a few days in the refrigerator, which will soften the flavor. Makes 4 cups of toum.

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