• Chermoula lamb shoulder with garlic and tahini yoghurt (Smith Street Books)Source: Smith Street Books
Whether you like your garlic strong enough to ward off a vampire or a background hum, there's a sauce to suit.
22 Sep 2020 - 11:05 AM  UPDATED 22 Sep 2020 - 11:05 AM

--- Join Ainsley Harriott in Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook, Sundays 8.30pm on SBS Food or stream it on SBS On Demand. Catch him making lemon harissa chicken skewers with garlic-mint sauce in Morocco in episode 6, Sunday 27 September ---


From the punch of raw garlic to the rich, mellow caramelised wonder of roast garlic, there are endless ways to use garlic to lift a dish. Using it in a sauce, drizzle or dollop is one of our favourites.

A simple chilli garlic sauce 

"This versatile sauce is a perfect accompaniment to all kinds of chicken dishes. It will keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for months, always at the ready to be served with the likes of grilled chicken wings, Hainanese chicken rice or even just a simply poached chicken breast," says Adam Liaw. His chilli sauce is made by pounding chilli, ginger, garlic, sugar and salt in a mortar and pestle. 

Pork skewers with chilli-garlic sauce (pinchos morunos with mojo picon)

The mojo picon (chilli-garlic sauce) in this recipe is an excellent way to use up slightly stale bread. The bread is fried in oil then processed with oil, garlic, chilli, paprika and sherry vinegar to create the perfect drizzle for the juicy marinated pork skewers (you can also make this with lamb or pork.)

Chicken wings with coriander, garlic and lemon (jawaneh)

In most of the recipes in this list, the garlic stars in a drizzle or dollop. Here, baked chicken wings are finished on the stovetop in a pan of coriander, garlic and lemon sauce, greeting a caramelised, sticky result that's impossible to resist (unless of course, you hate coriander. In which case, feel free to substitute!) 


The addictive, punchy garlic emulsion is really simple to make with just four ingredients, says SBS Food's Camellia Ling Aebischer, who shares her tips and recipe for making this divine Levantive garlic sauce in this article. You can find two more variations in this recipe from the Food Lover's Guide to Australia

The recipe makes a lot, so if you'd like less use a mini food processor or stick mix and halve it.

Seafood brodetto with garlic aïoli

This Italian fish stew is a powerhouse on its own but O Tama Carey says for her, a big dollop of extra garlicky aïoli is essential. Try it in her recipe, which includes fish, calamari and prawns - although as she says, there are many excellent ways to make it, so feel free to experiment. Just don't leave out the garlic aioli!

Beef shawarma with tahini sauce

There's something about tahini and garlic, isn't there! Here the duo appear in the simplest of sauces: tahini, vinegar, garlic and water, stirred together. It's great with the marinated beef skewers in this recipe but also a quick and easy way to whip up a condiment for other meats, salads or vegetables.

Salt and pepper scampi with garlic mayonnaise

"Here is my version of the fried seafood treat with just a light dusting of potato starch and an aromatic seasoning, along with a punchy garlic mayonnaise for dipping action,” says Luke Nguyen of his crisp, lightly battered scampi - the batter is also good with prawns or, for a vegetarian version, okra. 

Pinzimonio (Italian crudites) with bagna cauda

Vegetables get the five-star treatment served raw with a garlicky-anchovy butter dipping sauce. Serve with bread, for extra sauce-swiping satisfaction. 

Pinzimonio (Italian crudites) with bagna cauda

Chermoula lamb shoulder with garlic and tahini yoghurt

The garlic, tahini and lemon sauce is the perfect finishing touch to this Moroccan-spiced lamb. Marinade the lamb overnight if you can for maximum flavour. 

Chermoula lamb shoulder with garlic and tahini yoghurt

Harissa lemon chicken skewers with grilled eggplant and garlic-mint sauce

There's so much flavour packed in this dish, which Ainsley Harriott whips up when he visits Marrakesh in Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook. The chicken is marinated in a mix of yoghurt, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, harissa paste, preserved lemon and olive oil, then grilled alongside sticky aubergine slices, and finally served up with a yoghurt, mint and garlic sauce.

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A post shared by Ainsley Harriott (@ainsleyfoods) on Jul 11, 2020 at 3:36am PDT




View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ainsley Harriott (@ainsleyfoods) on Jul 11, 2020 at 3:36am PDT

More garlic to drizzle and smother
Charred leeks with romesco sauce

This combination is sensational and easy enough to recreate at home on a barbecue.

Spiced roast poussin with saffron, garlic yoghurt

A really delicious dish that adds a burst of sunshine to the table. It is also really easy to make and requires very little of your time and attention. Delicious as it is or with a salad and some potatoes or some crusty bread on the side. The saffron is expensive and adds its lovely musky flavour but if you don’t have any or if it isn’t a special occasion, leave it out, the dish is still delicious without.

Chilean salsa (pebre)

“This fresh, beautifully balanced salsa is one of those all-purpose additions to a barbecue that you’ll make again and again. I love that you use the stalks as well as the leaves of coriander, but it still feels strange adding boiling water to a salad mix. But you know what? It works! Serve with Chilean marinated pork belly.” Maeve O'Meara, Food Safari Fire

Ocean trout with garlic and soy

This is my favourite way to cook ocean trout because it’s simple, quick and perfect every time. As a dish, this ticks all the after-work boxes of being easy, fast, healthy and delicious, and I think it’s one you’ll keep coming back to again and again.

Steak with grilled vegetables and cumin yoghurt

I’m always looking for lighter ways to eat beef. People love to serve it with a substantial side and sauce, but sometimes it’s just not what you feel like eating. Steak takes beautifully to grilled vegetables and yoghurt.

Traditional lamb and pistachio kebab with smoked eggplant and garlic yoghurt (ali nazik)

While in Turkey last year, Somer Siviroglu of Efendy restaurant saw these kebabs in a place called Gaziantep. It is very typical of the region. Here, he shares this traditional recipe with us.


This refreshing dip of yoghurt, garlic and cucumber is a Greek staple and Elena Kanidiadis share with us her recipe and her way of preparing it. Serve tzatziki with other dips and warm bread as an appetiser or serve as an accompaniment to grilled seafood.  

Charcoal chicken with piri piri sauce

This recipe is a derivation of the famous spicy piri piri sauce from Angola, where Luis’ grandmother devised a marinade and sauce that would later travel the world. Angola was of course a colony of Portugal and many Portuguese families were encouraged to settle there. The Fernandez family was one.