Homemade garlic paste is really just one step beyond mincing, and the results are indisputably fresher and of better quality.
Want to give it a whirl? Read on!
First, mince the garlic as finely as possible.
Then, holding the handle of the knife in your right hand (left if you're a leftie) with the blade parallel to your body, set the blade into the pile of minced garlic toward the front.
Tilt the blade so that it forms a shallow angle with the cutting board. The blunt edge of the knife should be closer to you and the sharp edge is facing away.
Hold the top (blunt!) part of the blade with the fingers of your free hand, and use both hands to scrape the knife across minced garlic, working a bit of the pile at a time. (The picture below shows this as seen from in front)
Gather the garlic back into a pile and keep scraping it against the board until it becomes pulpy paste. A couple grains of kosher salt help give it something to grind against.
Three or four medium cloves of garlic will make about one tablespoon of paste.
We like to mash just enough garlic for whatever recipe we're making, but you can store extra garlic paste for up to a week in the fridge or several months in the freezer.
Related: Recipe: Roasted Garlic
(Images: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)