Monday, January 2, 2012

{How to Peel a Whole Head of Garlic}

You can go into a grocery store these days and buy yourself an entire container of peeled cloves of garlic, or even garlic in a jar that has been finely chopped or turned into a paste for you but it much more expensive than a whole head of garlic.  My Italian Grandfather probably rolls over in his grave every time I reach for a jar of prepared garlic.  It is nice to use in a pinch but there is something so tasty and much more fragrant about whole, fresh garlic.  If you have ever stared at those sweet, white bulbs and broke into a sweat then you might be a vampire...or you might just not know how to even bust one of those things open into something useful and tasty, or maybe you do and maybe this will make your life a lot easier.  Here I will give you a tip on how to disassemble a head of garlic.    

Choose a head of garlic that is tightly closed when you get it from the grocery store. 

 Pinch away the top of the head of garlic, it crumbles apart like paper.  Then put your thumb down into the center of the bulb and separate it like this.  Peel away a few cloves.  You can see two of them here, but they still need to be peeled.

Take the flat side of a chopping knife and place it flat against the clove of garlic.  I find it helps if the rounded section of the garlic clove is facing up against the knife.  

Then place your dominate hand, palm down flat against the flat part of the knife.  Place your non dominate hand on top for added force and press down firmly but not to the point of completely smashing the clove.  I sometimes will just use the meaty part of my palm without the knife to do this if I only need a couple of quick cloves for a recipe, whatever you prefer.  

 Then cut the stem ends of both sides of the garlic clove and the outside should peel right off.  You now have a gorgeously smooth and useful clove of garlic that is now ready for a fine chop, a dice or a crush. 

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