Testers: I’ve tweaked the recipe a little: the garlic is now blanched to remove some of the sharpness. However, this is still a garlic dip, so it’s for garlic fans only.
Whipped Garlic Dip (toum)
Makes slightly less than 1 cup
Garlic lovers, step right up; you’ll find any excuse to slather this powerful Lebanese condiment on anything, but dipping the edge of pita bread into this creamy dip is the most direct way to get more toum into you life. Traditionally raw garlic is used (and if you’re hardcore you can still make it that way), but I’ve added an option to briefly blanch the garlic to tame some of the sharpness. Garlicky doesn’t begin to describe this dip, but to know toum is to dream of it often.
Toum is similar to Greek skordalia, but even more garlicky; the potato, if any, is just a backdrop (sometimes bread is used to, but I like the consistency potato lends). Adding a little potato is option too; without it, it’s a creamy sauce, adding it, it’s a thicker paste-like dip. Pre-peeled garlic cloves are a fantastic time saver, but if you insist of peeling your own garlic see page XX in How to Cook about shaking your way to lots of suddenly peeled garlic.
Note: To prepare the mashed potato, peel and boil a small Russet baking potato until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and mash with a fork, or press through a potato ricer (page XX) for perfectly smooth potatoes. Chill before using.
3 ounces fresh garlic, about 18 peeled garlic cloves
2 tablespoons chilled lemon juice
1/2 rounded teaspoon sea salt or more to taste
3 tablespoons cold mild vegetable oil such as grapeseed or light olive oil
1/4 cup cooked, mashed and cooled starchy white potato (see note)
1. Dice garlic into pieces about ½ inch thick or slightly thinner and place in glass or metal mixinb bowl. Boil 2 cups of water and pour over garlic; steep the garlic for 2 1/2 minutes. Drain the garlic in a metal mesh sieve and rinse with plenty of cold water to cool it off. Shake the sieve a few times to remove as much water as possible from the garlic.
2. In a food processor pulse together the garlic, lemon juice, and salt into a creamy paste. Use a rubber spatula to frequently push the chopped garlic down the sides of the bowl. Stream in 1 tablespoon of oil at a time until the toum is bright white, creamy and emulsified a little like mayonnaise. Pulse in the mashed potato 1 tablespoon at a time to create a thick, creamy paste. You may not need to use all of the potato if the toum reaches a consistency you like with only a few tablespoons of potato. Taste and add more salt if desired.
3. Chill the toum for at least 20 minutes before serving. Toum will mellow out slightly if allowed to rest.
For faster toum, replace cooked potato with mashed potato flakes. Add 1 tablespoon at time until a thick creamy paste is achieved.