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Heavenly Lebanese Garlic Sauce/Dip (Toum)  

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

The local farmers that supply my food co-op are always so generous with garlic.  We usually end up with twice the amount that we ordered and paid for – which is so fantastic.  Garlic is such a versatile ingredient and can be used in pretty much anything.

When I have a glut of garlic, though, this is a cool recipe to have on hand.  It makes a wonderfully garlicky sauce that can be served with chicken, meat or fish.  It’s also delicious as a salad dressing and a dip with toasted pita bread.  You get the gist – it’s a good-old all-rounder and keeps well in the fridge.  Give it a go if you have a bunch of garlic lying around begging to be used!

Some extra tips:

– For a mellower garlic taste, soak the garlic in ice water for a 20 prior to using to take out the bite. Make sure to dry them thoroughly afterwards if you do this.

– When processing, make sure to alternate the lemon juice with the oil.  I’ve had the garlic sauce fail on me a couple times when I tried leaving the lemon juice until the end.  The lemon juice helps keep the consistency light, so I suggest alternating it as soon as the mixture is initially emulsified.

–  Use a food processor not a blender. It’s really difficult to get the mixture to emulsify using a blender, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

What you need:

  1. 1 cup garlic cloves peeled

  2. 2 teaspoons salt

  3. 3 cups neutral oil (I like grapeseed or avocado oil, but you can also use vegetable oil)

  4. ½ cup lemon juice


  1. Pop the garlic cloves into a food processor and add the salt. 

  2. Process for a minute until the garlic becomes finely minced.  Scrape down the sides of the processor.

  3. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in two tablespoons of oil, then scrape down the bowl. Continue adding another tablespoon or two until the garlic starts looking creamy.

  4. Once the garlic looks emulsified, alternate pouring in oil and lemon juice until it is all incorporated.  This will take about 15 minutes to complete.

  5. Season more if required.  

  6. Transfer the sauce into a glass bowl and cover.  Store in the fridge overnight.  This will allow the flavours to develop.  Use as you prefer!


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