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Mincing garlic releases its flavor quickly

Fine Cooking Issue 40
Photos: Scott Phillips
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For quick-cooking, chunky dishes, like pasta sauces and sautéed vegetables, finely mince or thinly slice garlic to get the best release of flavor. Garlic´s flavor and pungency change dramatically as it cooks: the more it cooks, the mellower it gets.

To mince garlic into even pieces, use a sharp paring knife to make several horizontal slices through the clove. Next, make vertical cuts through the clove.

Finish mincing by slicing down across the width of the clove.

Remember that minced garlic burns easily and becomes bitter, but there are ways to avoid this. Since garlic is often sautéed with onions, and onions take longer to soften, sauté the onions first until they´re cooked through. Only then should you toss in the minced garlic and let it cook for a minute or so.

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