The new year is here and with that the holiday season has come to an end. Lists with 20 ways of detoxing are popping up everywhere, accompanied with pictures of sickly green smoothies. Luckily we don’t make detox smoothies in our tiny Dutch kitchen. We simply continue making tasty food.
However, after all those days of forced togetherness with family, friends and the in-laws, you might be craving some me-time. Just a bit of privacy. Don’t worry, because we have the perfect recipe for you: garlic sauce. More precisely, a Lebanese garlic sauce called toum.
Garlic is an ingredient with a bit of a bad reputation, because it will give you bad breath. Unfortunately, this is very true and there is very little you can do about it. However I think it’s worth it. Garlic is a wonderful ingredient that can add tons of flavour to almost any dish. Besides, there’s a very easy way to ensure you’re not bothered by someone else’s garlic breath: simply eat some garlic yourself. It’s a classic case of “If you can’t beat them, join them”.
Toum or toumya is a kind of garlic sauce, that’s similar to aioli. It’s often referred to as a Lebanese sauce, but toum is actually common in the entire middle eastern region. Sometimes it’s also called a garlic mayonnaise. This is correct in the sense that they’re both emulsions. Unlike mayonnaise however, toum doesn’t contain any eggs.
Traditionally toum would be made by crushing raw garlic and salt together in a mortar and pestle, while slowly adding in the oil and lemon juice. This was obviously a very laborious process. Since that time they’ve luckily invented hand blenders and food processors, making this sauce a lot easier to create. This particular version of the sauce is made with steamed instead of raw garlic. Because of that it’s a little bit milder in taste.
Toum is a great dipping sauce or you can use it as an accompaniment to anything from vegetable wraps to grilled meat.