Toum is an eggless emulsion loaded with pungent raw garlic, which gives it both its kick and the necessary emulsifiers to keep the sauce stable. It's perfect for grilled meat and kebabs or as a bold alternative to mayonnaise. The sauce keeps in the fridge for a month, with the flavors mellowing out over time, so it's a quick way to add garlic flavor to pasta or vegetables. Because this sauce is all about the garlic, avoid pre-peeled cloves and always stick with fresh heads for the best flavor.
Why It Works
- Blending the garlic into a smooth paste releases the emulsifiers contained within its cell walls, which will stabilize the sauce without eggs.
- Alternating the addition of oil with a small amount of liquid, in the form of lemon juice and water, prevents the emulsion from becoming overwhelmed with oil and breaking.
- Yield:Makes 1 quart
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:20 minutes
- 1 cup (4 1/2 ounces; 130g) cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (for table salt use half as much)
- 1/4 cup (60g) fresh juice from about 2 lemons, divided
- 1/4 cup (60g) ice water, divided
- 3 cups (600g) neutral oil, such as grape seed or canola, divided
Using a paring knife, split each garlic clove in half lengthwise. With the tip of the knife, remove the germ from each clove half.
Food Processor Method: Place the de-germed garlic and kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the garlic in short bursts, occasionally removing the lid to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a flexible rubber spatula, until finely minced. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and continue processing until a paste begins to form. Add an additional 1 tablespoon lemon juice and process until completely smooth and slightly fluffy.
With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of oil in a very thin stream, followed by 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Repeat with another 1/2 cup of oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Continue the process, alternating 1/2 cup of oil and 1 tablespoon of water until all the oil and water have been incorporated. Transfer the toum to a container and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Mortar and Pestle Method: Depending on the size of your mortar and pestle, you may need to make the recipe in smaller batches, dividing the ingredient amounts in half or quarters. In the mortar and pestle, combine the garlic and salt, grinding until it becomes a smooth paste. Work oil into paste one teaspoon at a time. After adding 1 tablespoon of oil, work in a few drops of lemon juice. Repeat until all the oil, lemon juice, and water have been incorporated.