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What We Mean By: Garlic Paste

Fine Cooking Issue 79
Photo: Scott Phillips
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When we want to add raw garlic to a dressing or a dip, we often mash it to a paste first, rather than just mincing it. Raw garlic is a potent ingredient, and it can overwhelm when you get too much of it in a bite. Garlic paste basically dissolves into whatever you mix it, so as long as you don’t use too much, its flavor won’t knock you out.

To make garlic paste, begin by finely chopping the garlic. Sprinkle the chopped garlic with a big pinch of kosher salt—the salt is an abrasive that speeds the mashing, and it keeps the garlic from sticking to the knife. Next, hold the knife nearly parallel to the cutting board and scrape the side of the cutting edge of the knife over the garlic to mash the garlic against the board. Use the knife to scrape the garlic back into a pile and repeat the mashing until the garlic becomes a fine paste.


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