How to Crush Garlic

Peeling the garlic
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When you see a clove of garlic in the stores, the proper way to crush it may look a little confusing to someone who has never done it before. But, it is actually is a very easy process and well worth it to be able to use fresh garlic in your next recipe that calls for it.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 1-2 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Place one clove of garlic on a cutting board, leaving the skin on.
  2. Take a knife that has a wide blade and place it directly over the garlic clove.
  3. Using the palm of your hand, press down hard, making sure to keep your hand away from the blade edge of the knife.
  4. Remove the skin as, at this point, it can easily be removed and will mostly slice right off.
  5. Chop the garlic into small pieces.
  6. Lay the knife against the chopped garlic and, using the blade, press down hard to both press and cut the garlic into a finer consistency. Do this for the entire pile of garlic you have chopped.
  7. When the consistency is as desired, the knife may be used to scoop the garlic from the cutting board. Again, be careful to avoid the blade edge of the knife.

Tips:

  1. If you would rather not use a knife to crush the garlic, any flat, unbreakable object can be used. Some people use the bottom of an unopened can or a meat tenderizer.
  2. Sea salt is helpful to sprinkle over the surface of the cutting board or over the clove of garlic itself. It helps to both soak up the natural juices that are released when the garlic is crushed and also to steady the clove under what could be a slippery knife.

What You Need:

  • sturdy knife with wide blade
  • salt (optional)

Why Bother:

Apart from the fact that garlic is absolutely delicious, it also contains vitamins C and B6, manganese, selenium and other known antioxidants. Garlic is thought to be effective against high blood pressure, heart disease, cholesterol and a variety of other illnesses. And, of course, you'll be totally safe from vampires!

How to Use:

Now that you have crushed and finely minced garlic, how should you use it? Of course you can add it to almost every savory cooked food but here are some tips for eating it raw:

1. Add it to fresh homemade salsa

2. Mince it very fine and whisk it in to salad dressings, especially vinaigrettes

3. Add it to fresh guacamole to give it a bite

4. Stir it into cooked pasta sauces for a fresh taste element.

5. Swirl it into mashed potatoes to add a little zing.

How to Remove the Smell:

If you're avoiding fresh garlic because you're concerned about the smell on your breath or hands, consider chewing on some fresh parsley or mint leaves or take a few sips of lemonade. And if you wash your hands with a steel utensil, it will remove the odor from your hands.