When I went to Dubai four years ago, my friends and I marveled at the many new flavors and foods we got to try. One of the things we loved was a condiment called toum, which is basically a Lebanese vegan garlic mayonnaise. Whenever it was on the table, we put it on everything.
I never thought about actually trying to make it myself, until I saw Star Noodle Executive Chef Abby Ferrer post the recipe on her instagram. The pandemic had a lot of us, especially chefs, sharing easy recipes so we could all learn while sheltering in place.
Not only is this recipe easy, it’s delicious! Now that I’ve made this twice, and slather it on almost everything, this will probably be a part of my cooking repertoire for the rest of my life. The most labor-intensive thing is trimming the ends off the garlic cloves, which is like nothing.
Nadine Kam, who went with me to Dubai, did a little video to show how quick and easy it is. She added some of the photos from our trip, too! Also: Dig the new apron!
1 cup peeled garlic cloves, trimmed ends. I used pre-peeled garlic.
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 – 3 cups neutral oil (grape seed, canola, veg etc)
1/4 cup lemon juice. Doesn’t have to be fresh.
1/4 cup water
Put garlic and salt in a food processor, blend and get it super fine. Turn off a couple times to scrape sides down. (Abby: I’m using my vintage Cuisinart food processor that my mom gave me. I think it’s 25 yrs old! You can use the more traditional mortar and pestle if you want.) When it’s fine enough leave the food processor on and stream 1/3 of the lemon juice into the garlic then 1/3 of the oil (slowly) then 1/3 of the water. Do this till all the the liquids are incorporated. Taste and if you want more salt or lemon flavor add some in and mix it up, making sure to not “break” it. That’s it! Transfer it to a container and store it in the fridge. Makes about 4 cups.
Let me know if you try it and what you put it on! So far, we’ve put it on sandwiches, pasta, and brought a little container to Korean yakiniku (it goes well with the grilled vegetables, but the meats are best with the grilled slices of garlic).
Bonus video: our drive through the Lahabab Desert in Dubai! NSFW due to Nadine’s profanity.