Weather Updates

Simplest way to prep garlic

In this photaken Feb. 25 2010 garlic bulbs shallot are shown  New Market Va. They are flavor enhancers major

In this photo taken Feb. 25, 2010, garlic bulbs and shallot are shown in New Market, Va. They are flavor enhancers and a major ingredient for a great many recipes. They're also easy to grow in containers since they don't need as much shoulder room as most vining crops. (AP Phot/Dean Fosdick)

storyidforme: 43812630
tmspicid: 16231438
fileheaderid: 7301344

Updated: March 7, 2013 6:09AM

Q. I have trouble dealing with garlic. Can you give me some pointers?

A. Garlic is a go-to ingredient in Italian cooking and for many other cuisines. In a few minutes, learn how to prep it properly, no matter the recipe you’re making.

Step 1: Remove layers of skin from the garlic

Garlic comes wrapped in layers of papery skin. Take off some of these layers.

Step 2: Break up the cloves.

Next, smash the head of garlic with the heel of your hand to loosen the cloves. Break up the cloves with your fingers. Tip: Only need a few cloves? Pull off a few and leave the head intact.

Step 3: Peel the cloves.

To peel the clove, lay it flat on the cutting board and trim away the root end with the tip of your knife.

Step 4: Crush garlic.

Lay the flat side of your knife over the clove while holding the handle. With the heel of your other hand, carefully give your knife a good whack — this will separate the skin from the clove. Now that you’ve peeled the clove of garlic, it can be used in various ways: crushed, sliced or minced. To crush garlic, lay your knife over the garlic again and smash it a little bit more. Tip: Use this preparation in long-cooking stews, soups or roasts.

Step 5: Slice garlic.

Take a peeled clove and lay it flat on the cutting board. Hold the garlic between the fingertips of one hand, curling them under just slightly. Using a rocking motion with your knife, make thin slices by moving the knife bit by bit across the clove.

Step 6: Mince garlic.

First, crush a clove of garlic. Then, give it a rough chop. Next, hold your knife and lay the other hand flat across the tip. Use a rocking motion to chop the garlic until finely minced. Tip: Minced garlic distributes the flavor more fully in a dish and is great in sauces and marinades.

Scripps Howard

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.