By Sarah Lagrotteria
I’m going to let you in on a secret. Two, in fact. First, you need sharp knife. Cutting is what releases garlic’s sharpness, so cut cleanly and don’t hack away at a clove with a dull knife. You want a strong, clean flavor, not the overly pungent and muddled flavor of store-bought garlic paste. Second, never buy the grocery store garlic paste. It’s stinky and sticky and won’t make any dish taste better.
As with the roasted garlic, use this paste wherever you want a good kick of garlic. Some ideas include butter, mayo, tomato sauces and savory yogurts, beef burgers, lamb burgers or stir fries. It will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 3 weeks.
3–5 cloves garlic
Pinch coarse salt
Use the back of your knife to lightly crush the garlic cloves. Remove the skins and begin to slice the cloves, removing any green germ. Slice first in one direction then the other. Do this several times until your garlic has gone from sliced to minced (very finely diced).
Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the garlic. The salt will act as an abrasive, helping you break down the garlic as well as draw out any extra moisture, softening the paste. At this point, you are ready to begin dragging your knife over the garlic/salt mixture. The motion will take you from minced garlic to a paste. Hold the blunt end of your knife with both hands and, angling the blade toward the garlic, drag the blade over the mixture so it flattens the garlic. Repeat from the opposite direction and continue flattening the garlic until you achieve a thick paste.