Plenty of cuisines transform garlic into pungent, creamy condiments—think agliata, skordalia, or aioli—yet none is quite so simple, nor so ethereally light, as Lebanon’s toum (pronounced toom).

There, the ubiquitous sauce accompanies grilled meats, sandwiches, even french fries. It’s made by blending copious amounts of raw garlic with olive oil, salt and lemon juice until it reaches the consistency of whipped cream. Though still strong, the lemon and oil tame the garlic’s bite.

To create the required emulsion, you’ll need a standard-size blender (a high-capacity model, such as a Vitamix, is too large for the quantity of ingredients). For ease, we opted to use pre-peeled garlic cloves.

For more of our favorite staples—including spice blends, sauces, dressings and compound butters—head right this way.

To make, in a small cup, combine 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water. In a blender, process ½ cup peeled garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon white sugar, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice mixture and 2 tea­spoons kosher salt until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down the jar halfway.

With the blender running, drizzle in ½ cup olive oil in a thin, steady stream, followed by 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice mixture in a thin steam.

With the blender still running, slowly stream in another ½ cup olive oil, followed by half of the remaining lemon juice mixture, then slowly stream in another ¼ cup olive oil, followed by the remaining lemon mixture. The toum will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

See below for more tips on the best ways to handle garlic:

How to Get the Best Flavor from Your Garlic Without the Harsh Bite
An Easier Way to Peel Garlic
Garlic 101

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