Updated: Sep 11, 2020
I've written before about my undying love of garlic, and I'm seriously contemplating whether my first born child's middle name will be "Sauce." (Not really, but that gives you an idea of the importance of a good sauce in my life.) Enter toum, a Lebanese garlic sauce that, simply put, blew my mind the first time I had it. Bright and lemony with a big-ass kick of fresh garlic flavor, this sauce might just be the star of your next dinner party. Slather it on some shawarma, drizzle it over some rotisserie-roasted chicken, dip your lamb chops in it, or bathe in it (I won't judge). Just make sure you haven't invited any of your vampire friends to dinner.
Blow-Your-Mind Garlic Sauce (Toum)
(Makes about 1 cup)
2 heads (about 24-28 cloves) garlic, smashed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup grapeseed or avocado oil
Potato starch (optional)
Puree the garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor.
With the processor running, slowly start adding the oil. Note: This sauce is an emulsion - a mixture of acid and fat whipped into submission so that they no longer repel each other and instead become one. In order to successfully make an emulsion, you have to add your oil (the fat) VERY SLOWLY. Like, drop by drop by drop until you're about halfway through the oil, then only slightly faster. If you rush this process, your emulsion will "break" (separate), and it can be super difficult to save it. So be patient. I promise it's worth it.
If you want a fluffier end product, with the processor still running, slowly add some potato starch until you reach your desired consistency. This ingredient isn't necessary by any means and won't change the flavor. Some people just prefer their toum to be more like the texture of hummus rather than a pourable sauce.