When making your favorite homemade pesto or aioli, it can pay off to know how to achieve a good garlic paste. There’s more than one way to get to the end product, but this is how we do it in our house:
• Starting with a head of garlic, place your palm on top and lean forward resting your weight onto it. This will ‘crush’ it into the individual cloves.
• Separate out however many cloves you want to use and cut off the hard seed end of the clove to help remove the skin.
• With the flat side of your knife, crush the clove by pressing down on the top of the blade with your hand, being sure to avoid touching the sharp edge.
• Mince the garlic finely, using a rocking motion with the knife. Placing your free hand onto the tip end of the knife blade as a counterbalance to the hand holding the knife handle helps with this motion.
• Add a pinch of coarse salt. The salt isn’t added for the purposes of flavor in this case, but rather as an abrasive to help grind the garlic into a paste more effectively.
• Using a pressing and pulling motion with the blade will result in a smooth even paste.
We mixed our garlic paste tonight with olive oil, spread it onto some fresh naan, and then popped it into the toaster oven. It was amazingly good.
We’d love to hear your garlic tips!