How to chop and crush garlic

How to chop and crush garlic – for those that love garlic

How to chop and crush garlic is a key cooking skill as garlic is another great workhorse of the kitchen and gives great flavour.  Here, we show how to chop garlic and how to crush garlic.

 

How to chop garlic

Firstly, peel away the outer thin, papery skin from the garlic bulb.  Place it onto the chopping board (root up) and press down firmly with the palm of your hand.  This should loosen and separate the cloves.  Take as many cloves as you require and store the remainder in a cool, dry place, but not in the fridge, as the odour may be quite strong and could taint foods such as butter and milk.

To chop garlic, top and tail the garlic clove and place it on the board.  Gently press down on the garlic clove using the flat side of the knife.  The skin should now be easily removed.  Cut the garlic clove as you would for an onion small dice or finely sliced.  In some cases, the garlic clove can be left whole.

How to crush garlic

Firstly, peel away the outer thin, papery skin from the garlic bulb.  Place it onto the chopping board (root up) and press down firmly with the palm of your hand.  This should loosen and separate the cloves.  Take as many cloves as you require and store the remainder in a cool, dry place, but not in the fridge, as the odour may be quite strong and could taint foods such as butter and milk.

In many recipes the garlic will need to be crushed – many say that the smaller you crush garlic, the stronger the flavour will be.  You may wish to use a garlic press, but you can often get more of the garlic clove left inside the press than what comes out.  Plus, the press is awkward to wash up afterwards!

It is often quicker and easier to crush garlic on a chopping board using a knife.  Lay the garlic clove onto the board, place the flat side of your knife on top and press firmly down on the garlic.  This should roughly crush the garlic clove.

If you wish to make the crushed garlic into a smooth garlic paste, sprinkle a tiny amount of salt onto the crushed garlic (this stops it from slipping) and, with your knife at an angle, press down firmly rocking the blade back and forth.  In a short while you will have a smooth garlic paste.  Use the knife to scrape the garlic paste off the board.

Cooking with garlic – hints and tips

If, when using garlic, you have any reaction on your skin, wear thin disposable gloves.

Garlic – did you know?

The following are some interesting facts and figures about garlic (Wikipedia):

  • With a history of human use of over 7,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe
  • Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown year-round in mild climates
  • There are different types or subspecies of garlic, most notably hardneck garlic and softneck garlic – where the garlic is grown affects the choice of type as garlic – hardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates; softneck garlic is generally grown closer to the equator
  • Garlic is grown globally, but China is by far the largest producer of garlic, accounting for over 77% of world output
  • Garlic was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II – garlic can be used as a disinfectant because of its bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties

Recipes that use garlic

Now that you have seen all there is to crushing and chopping garlic, why not try these great tasting recipes that use garlic, to test your new cookery skills?

How to chop and crush garlic - use garlic in this recipe for chilli con carne

Chilli con carne

How to chop and crush garlic - use garlic in this recipe for beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff

How to chop and crush garlic - use garlic in this recipe for crushed garlic potatoes

Crushed garlic potatoes

How to chop and crush garlic - use garlic in this recipe for lamb and red onion kebabs

Lamb and red onion kebabs

How to chop and crush garlic - use garlic in this recipe for mussels in a cream sauce

Mussels in a cream sauce

How to chop and crush garlic - use garlic in this recipe for pork fillet with saute leek

Pork fillet with saute leek

How to chop and crush garlic - use garlic in this recipe for saute leek in cream

Saute leek in cream

How to chop and crush garlic - use garlic in this recipe for stir-fried duck

Stir-fried duck

How to chop and crush garlic - use garlic in this recipe for tagliatelle with ham and mushrooms

Tagliatelle with ham and mushrooms

How to chop and crush garlic - use garlic in this recipe for spaghetti bolognaise

Spaghetti bolognaise

How to chop and crush garlic - use garlic in this recipe for penne with roasted vegetables

Penne with roasted vegetables

How to chop and crush garlic - use garlic in this recipe for penne with chicken and broccoli

Penne with chicken and broccoli