Thursday, July 26, 2012

Garlicky Goodness

Austinites, have you ever been to Phoenicia Bakery and had the garlic sauce they serve with the roast chicken and cheese breads? A couple friends and I have been addicted to that stuff, but haven't known what it was called or how to make it. A chef friend of mine couldn't even figure it out. We were all stumped. One day, I stumbled across something online, and the mystery was solved! It's called toum, and it's a Lebanese garlic sauce, similar to a French aioli. The original post I read is from a blog, and you can read more about toum here; I have adapted their recipe.

Garlicky Goodness – aka Toum (aka Crack)

1/2 cup fresh garlic cloves* 
1 teaspoon fine sea salt (it may more though!)
2 cups grapeseed oil (or other light, neutral tasting oil)
3 - 4 tablespoons lemon juice

* About the garlic: fresh, whole heads of garlic are preferred, but I have used the pre-peeled, refrigerated cloves too. Either way, once peeled, I remove the stem end, cut the cloves in half lengthwise, and remove the shoots in the middle -- the shoot is where all the bitter garlic aftertaste flavor is contained. This is a little time consuming, and your fingers get sticky, but I think worth it.
Have everything at room temperature before processing.

Put the garlic and salt in the food processor (I use my mini Cuisinart), and pulse until finely chopped. Begin streaming in the oil through the top of the processor with the motor running; alternate with the lemon juice. You may not need all of the oil (I usually use around 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups), but keep blending until it reaches a mayonnaise-like consistency; it will take several minutes. Check for salt.

Yield: about 2 cups. Keeps well in air-tight container in the fridge

I have come up with multiple uses for this garlicky goodness....what else can you think of?
-- garlic bread
-- toss with pasta
-- smear over chicken or a pork loin, add fresh herbs, and bake
-- make a bean dip with cannellini or black beans
-- vegetable dip  
-- burger/sandwich spread
-- on French/sweet potato fries
-- baked potato 
-- on pizza, instead of tomato sauce
-- with roasted/steamed veggies


  1. Sounds fabulous! Kinda like a garlic hummus. Garlic is so good for you. I'm gonna have to try this recipe.

    1. Totally like garlic hummus, Steph! And you can eat it by the mouthfuls too! :)

  2. This sounds so good. I'm going to have to try it. I can imagine it's be excellent on a grilled-eggplant sandwich.

    1. Mmmm, on roast eggplant, INDEED! Great suggestion!

      And actually, that reminds me, to go back and add the tags vegan & gluten free! Enjoy!

  3. This looks awesome. I really should branch out at Phoenicia. I usually just run in and grab pitas.

    1. Their "cheese bread" is amazing and it's only like $2! Pita with melty cheese.... not sure if it's feta exactly because it melts a bit more than a regular feta....damn, now I am craving one! :)

  4. Oh, you've done it now. I'm going to be a happily garlic-stinky fool. Let's do a Lebanese potluck to celebrate!