Using garlic is one of my favorite ways to add flavor to food. I didn’t always use it, but it is something I have learned to cook with. When I first started using garlic, I only used the jars of minced garlic. I still keep a small jar in the refrigerator for those times when I run out of fresh or am in a real hurry. However, I now prefer to use fresh cloves of garlic.
When you buy fresh garlic, you get a bulb which is made up of multiple cloves. The cloves have layers of peel around them and the whole bulb. Before you can chop or mince garlic for cooking, you need to peel the cloves, and sometimes that can be tedious. Here is the easiest way I have found to peel garlic.
Separate the cloves you want to use, and use a sharp knife to cut little bit from each end of the clove.
Lay the flat side of your chopping knife on a clove and carefully (watch the sharp edge!) press on the knife with the palm of your hand. Use enough pressure to cause the clove to break slightly.
Now the garlic peel should come right off.
If you need your garlic clove whole for some reason, there is another method that is kind of fun, but it doesn’t always work. I just recently learned this from reading Cooking Light magazine while sitting at the orthodontist.
Once again, trim the ends of the garlic cloves (Cooking Light did not suggest this step, but I find it helps) and place them in a glass bowl. Cover the bowl with a glass lid or dish. I used a saucer.
Holding the lid or plate securely, shake the bowl vigorously. If you’re lucky, the peels will fall off all the cloves. If not, at least a couple should be peeled and you can try shaking again. Any that sill have peel on them should be pretty easy to peel by hand at this point.