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Jul 26, 2004 11:12 AM

Lebanese Taverna - Garlic Sauce

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Is anyone familiar with method and/or proportions for making their garlic sauce? I have made a facsimile with garlic, salt, olive oil and lemon ... but in my opinion it is a bit overpowering.

I know I am close but no cigar ... any suggestions?


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  1. Try using Mayonnaise instead of olive oil. You may be getting too acidic due to lemon, substitute vinegar for it. Or if all fails experiment adding a pinch of sugar.

    1. The mystery ingredient is fresh white bread added to the blender/food processor. These give the sauce it's body and temper the garlic a bit. The frugal Gourmet actually had a recipe for the sauce in his 3 Ancient Cuisines cookbook.

      5 Replies
      1. re: DanielleF

        The ingredients list for Lebanese Taverna garlic sauce doesn't list bread. Would it not be a violation of federal law to include bread but not list it?

        1. re: Ilaine

          And I would swear that the ingredients say "olive oil" No? Really?

          Just looked at the website, and it says "GARLIC PUREE, 5.99, fresh garlic cloves ground to a paste with fresh lemon juice and olive oil, perfect for poultry & meat dishes."

          If, in the classes, they are not using olive oil, it leads me to wonder if the above ingredient list is true.

          1. re: Matt

            Both chefs were pretty clear about this. This first specified Soy oil, while the other said that any light, less flavorful oil would work. I don't think it is a matter of the sauce not working or breaking with olive oil, just that it would affect the taste of the sauce.

            1. re: Matt

              Just took another look at the tub in my fridge, it says "Fresh garlic cloves ground to a paste with lemon and oil. Perfect for poultry and meat dishes."

              1. re: Ilaine

                Went to Leb Tab market yesterday for lunch and saw the same thing on the label. Why adervtise it differently on website?

                I'm sure everybody knows the effect of this sauce. Last night, around 11, which was a full 11 hours after I ate some of the sauce, a friend asked me, "Have you been eating garlic?"

        2. I keep a tub of Lebanese Taverna garlic sauce from the Arlington market in the fridge and use it instead of mayonnaise. The ingredients lists says "fresh garlic cloves ground to a paste with lemon and oil." No bread, no sugar, not even salt.

          I don't believe that Lebanese Taverna uses olive oil. To me, it seems like a light vegetable oil, with almost no flavor, maybe canola oil.

          My guess is that they make it like making mayonnaise, grind the garlic to a paste, then add the oil slowly so it fluffs up, and finally stir in lemon juice to taste at the end. But I just buy it.

          1. I have had Greek versions that were made with potatoes instead of bread. You can use less oil that way, but it does have a very different taste and texture. I like it, particularly with fried calamari.

            1. I have been to two cooking classes at Lebanese Taverna and the recipe is fairly simple.

              Garlic crushed with salt, although not as much as you would think. Soy oil or another similar light vegetable oil, not olive oil drizzled into the food processor until emusified. Occasionally drizzling in some lemon juice and a little bit of water. It will "plump up" like mayonnaise.

              The one word of warning is that some home food processors go too fast, breaking the sauce.

              One trick I do at home is to add a tablespoon of mayonnaise at the beginning. This helps with the emulsification, probably due to the protein from the eggs in the Mayo.