This recipe is a great way to include garlic in your meals on a regular basis. It works as a salad dressing on raw or cooked vegetables and as a dip for fried foods. And how about on grilled or roasted meat, fish, chicken or lamb! You can even use it as a substitute for regular mayonnaise on a sandwich, or simply on french bread. The consistency varies from creamy, paste-like, to thinned out mayonnaise. It depends on how you pour the oil during the making, and how the garlic and oil emulsify or don’t. There are a number of variations on the making of Lebanese Garlic Sauce. Some recipes call for yogurt, some for mint, a pinch or two of white bread for a fluffier texture, boiling hot water, egg white or even a bit of mayonnaise. But, basically, there are only four main ingredients: garlic, salt, lemon and oil. A lighter oil, such as canola is preferable; some use olive oil, but usually in combination with another oil.
4-5 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
Peel and crush the garlic. Place into food processor with the salt. Pulse until smooth. Very slowly add the oil, allowing the mixture to take on a creamy texture. Finally, add the lemon juice and mix well.
The traditional Lebanese garlic sauce, “toum bi zeit,” or garlic with oil, was made with a mortar and pestle, and certainly today results will vary, when using a blender or a food processor. But whether the consistency is thicker or thinner, it’s always tangy, garlicky, delicious!