No Joke: It’s the Best Garlic Dip/Sauce Ever

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Garlic lovers rejoice!

I have something special to share with you today.

~

We have a little Mediterranean restaurant south of the river called the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe. It was here that we fell in love with the garlic dip that they serve with some of their dishes.

We’ve started to take garlic-loving friends there and Rob would order  “That Garlic Dip with Toast Points.” What he meant was toasted pita. It’s not on their menu. Everyone has fallen in love with the dip, too. Such that, we finally decided to ask how it’s made.

“Just garlic, olive oil and a little bit of lemon juice.”

What?! That’s it?

It sounded too good to be true.

Last week, I decided to attempt to recreate it. So I googled “Mediterranean Garlic Dip” and found hundreds of recipes under the more common name “Lebanese Garlic Sauce” or “Toum”.

There were many discussions on the best way to make it.

  • Many people complained that they had trouble getting the right consistency!
  • Some used just lemon juice while others added egg whites.
  • Some people made it in a food processor, while others used a blender or an immersion blender.
  • The main consensus was to use a neutral oil (most commonly canola oil) because olive oil has too much of an overpowering flavor.
  • It is a long process.

I finally settled on this recipe for Lebanese Garlic Sauce because it looked similar to many other recipes and because I could make it in a food processor. This recipe doesn’t incorporate any egg, which means it will last longer in the fridge – up to a month! That’s important when it makes such a big batch.

And guess what?

This amateur home cook was able to nail it on her first try! I didn’t even think of taking a photo until I began filling up my jars.

The flavor came out a little sharp, which I’ve read can happen depending on the garlic; but that it also mellows out after a bit of refrigeration.

Now just look at the fluffy texture! It truly is a patient process. Alternating slow streams of oil and lemon juice to the puréed garlic is key. To me, it looks more like a dip or spread than a sauce.

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Lebanese Garlic Sauce

 The recipe made this much!

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How would one use this dip, you ask? 

Well, it is most often served with grilled meats. I served a little {a little goes a loooooonnnng way!} with these Pork Kabob Munchies {recipe to come next week}.

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Pork Kabob Munchies with Garlic Dip & Hummus

We also put it on our burgers! I served Rob’s on the side, so he could control the amount or use it as a dip if he preferred. I slathered mine on!

Sunday, I made some Mexican Power Bowls for a few lunches for the week. But I didn’t have any Ranch dressing to make my fave Salsa-Ranch Dressing a la Biz. So I used that same sort of technique with this garlic sauce. Five parts salsa to one part garlic dip makes an excellent dressing!

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Monday, I stirred about a tablespoon of the garlic dip into Joe’s Special, while cooking. In fact, you could probably stir it into any ground meat dish!

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I’ve read of a few other uses, but have yet to try these:

  • Stir into sauteed or steamed veggies..
  • Add a little red wine or balsamic vinegar, fresh mint, salt and pepper. Then toss it in a salad!
  • Stir into a bowl of soup.
  • Add to sandwiches, pitas and wraps.
  • Stir into a stir fry.
  • Use as a dip for grilled meats, potatoes or vegetables.
  • Add to pastas or rice.
  • Slather on French Bread, sprinkle with cheese and bake to make a fantastic garlic bread!
  • Take the boring out of a pot pie by kicking it up a notch and stirring it into the sauce before baking.
  • Spread onto a homemade pizza crust before adding toppings.

No matter how you serve it, it’ll definitely add flavor to any dish!

Still, there’s one thing I want to try that I can’t quite understand how: using as a marinadeIt seems to thick of a sauce to be used as a marinade. I found a website that sells a version of this sauce and this is what they say:

Marinate chicken with some Garlic Sauce the night before barbecuing.  Baste the chicken with it along with all other foods on the grill while cooking.  Pour a little on your plate and dip or drizzle some on everything after serving.

Maybe their sauce is runnier? I can’t imagine using it as a marinade for fear that I’d put too much on the meat. It is really potent! So, then, after marinating, do you wipe most of it off before cooking? I also can’t imagine “drizzling” such a think sauce.

Has anyone used Lebanese Garlic Sauce as a marinade or do you have any suggestions on how to do so?

How would you use this Lebanese Garlic Dip?

!

P.S. I know it’s April Fool’s Day, but this isn’t a joke! 🙂

Cheers~
Carrie

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5 responses »

  1. I looooove garlic so this is my kind of dip! When my husband and I first started dating, he thought my favorite salad dressing (a garlic tahini dressing) was waaaaay too garlicky but now he’s adapted to my garlic loving ways 😉

  2. Pingback: Copycat Med Cruise Cafe Kabob Munchies {A Recipe} | Season It Already!

  3. Pingback: Sauteed Broccoli with Garlic Dip | Season It Already!

  4. Pingback: Mediterranean Cruise Cafe | Season It Already!

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