Apricot Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)

I love toum. I’d never this delectable Lebanese garlic sauce had it until I moved to the west coast, but now that I have I can’t live without it. I first encountered this it at Zankou Chicken, where it has a bit of a cult following. If you live in or around Los Angeles, you’re probably familiar with Zankou. For those of you who aren’t, it’s a quick serve Armenian and Mediterranean restaurant known for their chicken and falafel. And of course, their garlic sauce. My version has dried apricot mixed into it, making it a sweet and savory thing of dreams.

Because of the emulsification process, you’ll need to make a large batch of this stuff. Don’t worry though – it’ll last at least a few weeks in the fridge and pairs well with everything. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy this apricot tour are as a sandwich spread, or with cucumbers, pita, or eggs. It also adds tons of flavor to roasted veggies, as well as chicken, fish and tofu! Just brush it on before baking.

Note: It may be tempting to use fresh apricots for this recipe. DON’T DO THAT. I tried that once and it did not end well.


  • 1 cup peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups grapeseed oil


  1. Place the garlic and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Turn it on and blend until the mixture is puréed. If you need to, scrape the garlic on the sides of the bowl down with a spatula.
  2. Add 1 cup of dried apricots and blend to combine.
  3. Turn the food processor on again and begin adding small batches of grapeseed oil and lemon juice. You’ll want to start with 1/4 cup of oil, and then add a teaspoon of lemon juice. Alternate in this fashion until both liquids are fully incorporated into the apricotty garlic paste and the sauce has a mayo-like consistency (ew). This process should take around 10 minutes!

Once it’s done, let the sauce cool and then put it in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last for a few weeks.