Every good recipe starts with garlic, and if you’re like everyone else, if the recipe calls for three garlic cloves, you’ll probably put in six. Garlic can take on a multitude of flavors, whether it is roasted, sautéed, or simply used raw in a salad dressing. When preparing garlic, we believe it is always best to start with fresh garlic from a large garlic bulb. It is best to work on a wooden cutting board, with a very sharp knife, and whether you slice, mince, or chop, do your best to make sure each piece is the same and specific to your desired size. In this post, we’re going to cover all the different ways you can prepare garlic. Those ways are:
- The Best Way to Peel Garlic
- How to Slice Garlic
- Chopping Garlic
- Mince your Garlic
Peel Your Garlic
There a few different ways to go about peeling cloves of garlic. One way is to use the flat side of your chef’s knife. Simply lay the clove of garlic on your work surface and place the flat side of your knife on the clove. Using the heel of your hand, press down on the chef knife, which will separate the papery skin from the clove itself. Just make sure not to press too hard if you want to slice the cloves. If you’re going to mince, chop the garlic cloves, go ahead and smash the garlic, as this will flatten it, making your work easier.
Another way is to use the palm of your hand to press down on the garlic clove. Simply place the palm of your hand on the clove and place your other hand on top. Apply slight pressure, which will break the skin and allow the garlic clove to slip right out. Now you have perfectly peeled garlic.
How to Slice Your Garlic
Sliced garlic is called for in a bunch of pasta and roasted vegetable dishes. Due to a garlic clove’s size, it is best to use a smaller knife, either a paring knife or a santoku knife. Take your peeled garlic and hold it at the root end, which will end up being discarded. Using an easy, swift motion, rock your knife back and forth to create thin slices. Next, lightly fry in olive oil as a base for the perfect pasta sauce, or add to vegetables before roasting them.
Chop Your Garlic
Take your peeled garlic clove and with one hand on the handle and another on top of the blade near the point, run your knife through the garlic. A santoku knife is best for this, as the scalloped sides will make sure the garlic doesn’t stick to your blade. This technique is also great for herbs, onions, shallots, and anything else that needs a rough chop.
How to Mince Garlic
The technique for mincing garlic is very similar to the method for chopping garlic. To mince the garlic, simply chop the garlic until it is very fine. Minced garlic is great to work into mashed potatoes, salad dressing, toss with fries, and more! Another way to use minced garlic is to add some coarse salt to it and use the back of your knife to create a paste. You can also achieve minced garlic by using a garlic press, which is a quick and easy option.
In the end, knowing how to prepare garlic in a few different ways is key to flavorful meals. Whether you slice, mince, chop, or confit, each technique of preparing garlic will lend different textures and flavors to your dish.