Citizens, our “week of garlic” rolls on with this fantastic Lebanese garlic condiment called “toum” or الثوم. In fact, الثوم is actually just Arabic for “garlic”, so you’re getting serious truth in advertising here!
Fluffy and white like beaten egg whites, toum is very much similar to the French aïoli, but without using eggs as an emulsifier. This is hardcore, pure garlic and not to be trifled with!
Traditionally served with shawarma, meats and French fries, toum is a fantastic garlic treat – just make sure EVERYONE eats some, Citizens! 😉 TFD prefers to use Meyer lemon juice in this recipe, as it is less assertive and more flavorful than regular lemon juice.
Battle on – The Generalissimo
3 heads worth of the freshest peeled garlic you can get your hands on, preferably local garlic from a farmers market – if it still has the roots, it’s local. If not, it’s been shipped from China
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
4-5 cups or more grapeseed or sunflower oil, or more as needed – don’t use olive oil as it can make the result too heavy or bitter
Lemon juice from 1 Meyer lemon (TFD modification, original recipe uses regular lemon)
Split the garlic cloves lengthwise and remove and discard any green sprouts, which can make the sauce taste bitter.
Place the garlic and salt in a food processor and process until the garlic is *totally* puréed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice or more as necessary.
At this point, turn the processor back on and keep it going until the end.
Start adding the oil to the processor at a very slow rate, in a very thin stream, ½ cup at a time.
After adding the first ½ cup, you will start seeing the garlic emulsify and turn into a paste.
Now add ½ teaspoon of lemon juice very slowly, in a thin stream.
Wait a few seconds until the lemon juice is well absorbed.
Then go back to repeating the same process of slowly adding ½ cup of oil, waiting a few seconds, then adding ½ teaspoon of lemon juice until you’ve used all ingredients.
This process should take about 6-8 minutes.
The resulting garlic paste should be creamy white and fluffy, like beaten egg whites. If not, keep the motor running and add more oil to achieve the right color and consistency.
Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid; seal and refrigerate for a few hours before using, and up to 3 weeks.