A bit more garlic

Yesterday (last post) I told you my favorite garlic sauce was a simple toum. I lied. Sue me. It’s been a while, and I forgot.

See, I told you I use half a head of garlic, 3/8 (more or less) oil, juice of a lemon, and a pinch or two of salt (well, a quarter teaspoon, but I never really measure it.) What I forgot to tell you is what I do with the other half of the garlic head.

I roast it, let it cool, then add it to the garlic/salt mix before adding the oil.

Well, that’s what I try to do, anyway. See, the roasted garlic is soft and sweet and nutty with a background note of what you usually think of as garlic. Individually packaged in cloves, each one makes a lovely spread on crisply toasted bread.

The easiest way to roast garlic uses aluminum foil and a bit of oil – not much, mind you, but barely enough to ‘wet’ the cloves. You make a sorta pan of the foil. Cut off the tips of the cloves so they’re all exposed but still joined. Pour on the oil – no more than a tablespoon – making sure it gets on every clove. Close up the foil pouch and put it in a hot (400 F) oven for 40-45 minutes.

Careful when it comes out. Either give it a few minutes to cool or be very cautious when squeezing it. You can (sorta) break off individual cloves for everyone, or you can just squeeze it all into a dish and everyone can scoop out what they want.

Well, what they want if there are only one or two of you. Or one of me. (grin). Seriously, you’ll only get a tablespoon or two of finished product from a head of garlic, so do NOT plan on making this your main dish.

And if you’ve the patience, before you snip off the ends of the head you remove about half for the toum. Prep and start baking the half-head. When you pull the head out of the oven, start actually mashing the garlic for the toum, and add the roasted garlic as soon as you can. If you save a clove or two for a quick bite, I won’t tell.

Again, just like I told you yesterday, once the garlic (with salt) is smooth, start adding oil. Just a drop at a time for the first tablespoon, then you can increase (but stay slow) from there. When the oil’s done, add the lemon. Put your ~ 1 cup of what sorta looks like mayo out for spreading on… shishkebobs or grilled chicken or hummus or crisply toasted slices of bread or whatever you think needs a topping of the garlic.

If you like garlic, you’ll like this. And if I remember to pick up some garlic tomorrow at the store (I’m out, sigh) I’ll see if I can’t remember to take a picture before I eat it.


2 thoughts on “A bit more garlic

  1. I used to live near a Lebanese place that served what must have been this sauce with the shawarma. Pretty good in small amounts on the meat and pita. Theirs was pretty strong- I’ll bet the roasted garlic mellows it out some, and I would’ve used a lot more of it.

    • Probably. Toum is the Lebanese version.

      And yes, it’s strong. Oh, yes. Test with me the theory “There’s no such thing as too much garlic.” 🙂

      And finally, no, the roasted garlic doesn’t diminish it at all. It adds another layer of flavor – MORE flavor, that stands up to the raw garlic. Yes. There’s no such thing…

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