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Garlic Cloud Sauce

This condiment is often called “toum,” which means garlic in Arabic. Because most people are unfamiliar with this vegan, mayonnaise-like fluffy spread, I thought calling it something more descriptive would get your mouth watering! 

But how can a mayo-like condiment not include an emulsifier like eggs? Well, garlic also has this capability, giving the sauce both its kick and the necessary emulsifiers to keep it stable. As a flavourful alternative to mayonnaise or aioli, you can imagine that it’s good friends with raw and roasted vegetables on a lunch plate, avocado toast, pasta, steamed grains and legumes, stirred into soups and stews, whipped into hummus, sautéed into mushrooms, and brushed onto grilled goodies like summer squash, peppers, and aubergine… and anywhere else you can imagine!

Once made, the Garlic Cloud Sauce lasts for over a month in the fridge (which is handy since it makes a heck of a lot — alternatively find some friends and share!). Inspired by Sohla El-Wally’s original recipe, I used olive oil instead of grapeseed oil and the results were delicious! Since there is so much garlic, the taste of the olive oil doesn’t overpower one bit — find an oil you love but isn’t too expensive as you need a lot!

Garlic Cloud Sauce


  • 1 cup garlic cloves, peeled about 4 ½ oz. / 130g
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup / 60ml freshly squeezed lemon juice divided
  • ¼ cup / 60ml ice water divided
  • 3 cups / 375ml cold-pressed olive oil mild-tasting


  • Place the garlic cloves and salt in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts, scraping down the sides of the bowl every so often, until the garlic finely minced. Add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and continue processing until a paste begins to form. Add another tablespoon lemon juice and process until completely smooth and slightly fluffy.
  • With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in ½ cup / 125ml of oil in a very thin stream (some food processors have an oil drizzle attachment – use that!), followed by 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Repeat with another ½ cup / 125ml of oil and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Continue the process, alternating ½ cup oil and 1 tablespoon water, until all the oil and water have been incorporated. Transfer the Garlic Cloud Sauce to a container and store in the fridge for 1 month.


Makes about 1 quart / 1 litre