Ultra-Garlicky Toum Recipe

Are you one of those people who just can't get enough garlic? When you read a recipe that calls for two cloves of garlic for four servings of food, do you go ahead and make it eight? If you count yourself a devotee of this pungent allium, you're probably going to be interested in toum. Sort of like aioli, toum is a spread hailing from Lebanon made from oil, lemon, and plenty of garlic. Here, recipe developer Patterson Watkins walks you through an easy way to make your own toum that's convenient but doesn't skimp on taste — and definitely doesn't skimp on garlic.

"This recipe is all about the garlic! Fresh from the bulb. Vampires need not apply," Watkins quips. "This magical emulsion takes place between the pureed garlic, lemon juice, and oil that results in this fluffy, spreadable, irresistible condiment — truly culinary wizardry." You don't even technically need to cook this ultra-flavorful creation; simply prep the ingredients and let your food processor do the rest.

Gather your ingredients for this ultra-garlicky toum

The ingredient list here is quite simple: You'll obviously need garlic, and a lot of it — about 2-3 bulbs worth of cloves. "This recipe really benefits from the fresh garlic, not the pre-peeled garlic cloves. The pre-peeled garlic loses some of it's pungency and flavor over once the skins/peels have been removed," Watkins says. 

You'll also need a hearty amount of vegetable oil, plus some salt, lemon juice, and water, as well as pita or naan for dipping. "Any neutral oil will work with this recipe, vegetable oil and canola oil are the most popular. Other oils, like EVOO, would impart competing flavors and throw off the balance between the garlic, salt, and lemon," she advises.

Start blending the garlic

Time to fire up the food processor ... and peel all your garlic. "I know, I know... peeling that many garlic cloves is a bit of a chore," Watkins notes. "You can deploy the smash and peel method (crushing the clove slightly with the flat side of the knife), the trim and peel method (removing the bottom of the clove and peeling away the skins), or ... I heard a rumor about sandwiching garlic cloves in between two metal bowls and, sort of, rolling the top bowl around ... might be worth a try."

Place the cloves in your food processor once they're ready, along with some salt. Then, pulse the machine until the garlic is finely minced, scraping the bowl as you go.

Blend in the rest of the ingredients

Now that your garlic is nice and pureed, it's time to add the rest of the ingredients. Keep your food processor running, then perform this cycle: drizzle in some vegetable oil, then add a mixture of lemon juice and water. Repeat that process until you've used everything up and the mixture has become uniform and creamy.

"The food processor is the way to go when making toum (avoid the blender), the blades spin at just the right speed ensuring an even mince on the garlic and, later, an even emulsion with the oil," Watkins explains. "The old-school method of making toum uses a mortar and pestle."

Enjoy your garlicky dip

Once your toum has reached optimal fluffiness, all that's left to do is transfer it to a bowl, toast up some flatbread, and dig in. Watkins calls toum "an all-purpose condiment for the ultimate garlic lover," but if you need some inspiration, she suggests these ways of enjoying it: "A dip for grilled meats (absolutely delicious with shawarma), scooped or dolloped onto crudités or roasted vegetables, or served as part of a mezze platter (Middle Eastern & Mediterranean version of tapas/antipasti)." 

However, you don't have to get all fancy with it: "I personally love this simple combo of toasted naan/pita and toum for a faster, easier, transport to my mouth hole," she says, and we think anyone who's feeling snacky will probably agree.

Ultra-Garlicky Toum Recipe
5 from 33 ratings
This ultra-garlicky toum lives up to its name - it's absolutely jam-packed with creamy, garlicky flavor.
Prep Time
Cook Time
toum dip close-up
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 1 cup peeled garlic cloves (about 3 garlic bulbs' worth of cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water
Optional Ingredients
  • 4 slices pita bread, cut into wedges
  1. Place the garlic cloves and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely minced, scraping down the sides occasionally to ensure even mincing.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the bowl with the minced garlic and puree until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  3. With the food processor running, slowly add in the vegetable oil in ½-cup increments. In between the oil, add 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Then add more oil, then more water and juice, and repeat until these ingredients are used up.
  4. Continue to blend until all the ingredients have been added and the mixture is fluffy and smooth.
  5. Transfer the toum to a serving bowl and serve with toasted pita or naan for dipping. Alternatively, you can transfer the toum to a sealable container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Calories per Serving 1,026
Total Fat 112.1 g
Saturated Fat 7.3 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 0.5 g
Sodium 359.8 mg
Protein 1.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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