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Fava Bean and Herb Salad with Toum

Prep Time:
35 mins

Chef notes

This fresh, sharp salad and toum-yogurt makes a lovely side to heartier dishes, grilled meat (particularly when rich and fatty) and just about anything battered and fried.

Toum, which literally translates to "garlic" in Arabic, is a Levantine condiment made by whipping together raw garlic and oil with a good amount of lemon juice. It is potent enough to ward off even the most persistent of vampires and is most definitely not for the garlic averse among us. Use it sparingly, and if you find it too potent, swirl in some Greek yogurt, as we do in this recipe.

Technique tips: Make sure to use a neutral-tasting oil for the toum, such as vegetable oil, and not olive oil — it'll ensure the toum stays white and fluffy and won't detract from the intensely pungent garlic flavor. This recipe will most likely make more than you need, but toum is stable enough to have a long shelf life. Once made, store it in a sealed jar in the fridge; it'll keep for up to 4 weeks. Toum loses its intensity the longer it sits, so for the more faint of heart, make this a few days in advance of when you need it.

Swap options: Use a dairy-free alternative for the yogurt. Use defrosted peas in place of the fava beans, and any mixture of herbs and leaves you have on hand.


Toum (makes about 1½ cups)
  • ounces garlic cloves, peeled (about 2 heads), dried well
  • salt
  • cups vegetable oil (9 ounces by weight), or another neutral-tasting oil, divided
  • 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 cups frozen or fresh shelled fava beans, defrosted if frozen and skins removed
  • 2 baby gem lettuces, core removed and leaves separated
  • 1/2 cup tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup dill leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup toum (recipe above)
  • 6 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the toum:


Halve the garlic cloves length wise and use a small, sharp knife to remove and discard the inner part (some will look green or similar to a white twig).


Transfer the cored-out garlic cloves to a food processor along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Blitz until very smooth and aerated, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl a couple times.


With the machine still running, very slowly drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the remaining oil, followed by 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Continue in this way, alternating between oil and lemon juice and ending with the oil. Do this very slowly and steadily; you don't want the toum to split at all. You should be left with a white, fluffy and homogenized mixture. Transfer to a sterilized, sealed jar and store refrigerated for up to 4 weeks.

For the salad:


Use a small, sharp knife to peel and segment the lemon. Roughly chop the segments into 3 to 4 pieces and put them into a large bowl, then squeeze what's left of the membrane into the bowl (you want about 1½ teaspoons of juice).


Add the fava beans, lettuce, herbs, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper to the bowl of lemon and toss everything together well.


Mix together the toum and yogurt and spread out on a large platter. Top with the salad, slightly to one side. Drizzle all over with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and serve.

Reprinted from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love. Copyright© 2021 by Yotam Ottolenghi. Photographs copyright © 2021 Elena Heatherwick. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.