Lebanese Garlic Sauce
1 c. garlic cloves peeled
2 tsp. Kosher salt
3 c. canola or safflower oil (stay with neutral oils)
½ c. lemon juice
What is garlic sauce made of?
- Garlic: The most important part of the recipe is the garlic. Find the freshest garlic bulbs you can find. Test them for firmness to make sure that they have the best consistency and flavor. You will need 1 cup of peeled garlic. You can freeze the remaining garlic.
- Oil: You can use canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil or any other neutral oil you prefer. I do not recommend using olive oil because it will change the color of the garlic sauce and lend a stronger flavor than than the neutral oil. You want the garlic flavor to stand out more than the oil flavor. You’ll need 3-4 cups of oil.
- Lemon juice: The lemon plays a supporting role in the Lebanese garlic sauce, and helps to combine and emulsify so the oil doesn’t overpower the garlic. I use ½ a cup but you can decrease according to your taste preference. The lemon juice acts as a binder, so don’t leave it out.
- Salt: The salt helps to finely grate the garlic by adding traction to garlic’s natural wetness in the beginning of the processing. Plus, it helps to flavor the sauce.
Tips for making homemade garlic sauce
- Remove the green sprout from inside the garlic. This step is not necessary, but by doing so, it ensures that you remove the oldest part of the garlic to be left with the freshest whitest part of the garlic. The result in a less bitter sauce, so it’s worth the step if you have time.
- Soak the garlic in ice water for a few minutes for a less potent taste. Some readers have mentioned that the taste of the garlic was really strong. One way to reduce that potency is by soaking the garlic with ice water. Make sure to dry them thoroughly though afterwards if you do this.
- Make sure to alternate the lemon juice with the oil. I’ve had the garlic sauce fail on me a couple times when I tried leaving the lemon juice until the end, but the oil becomes too heavy to support the garlic that way. The lemon juice helps keep the consistency light, so I suggest alternating it as soon as the mixture is initially emulsified.
- Don’t use a blender. It’s really difficult to get the mixture to emulsify in a standard blender or immersion blender. A blender also doesn’t allow the ease of slowly drizzling in the oil while the motor is running over a large surface area. I do not recommend a blender.