A fresh clove of garlic adds a distinctive flavor to both cooked and uncooked dishes. Crushing garlic releases the flavor so the sharp taste of the garlic can take center stage in the dish. Commercial garlic presses are available that crush the cloves, but you can crush garlic quickly without any special equipment. The peel on the garlic holds the crushed meat of the clove in place during the process, and is easily removed and discarded afterward.
Lay an unpeeled garlic clove on top of a cutting board. Crush one clove at a time.
Lay a chef's knife flat on top the clove. Press down firmly on the knife with your palm, crushing the clove.
Set the knife aside and pull the skin off of the clove. Lay the lightly crushed clove back on the cutting board.
Chop the clove coarsely with the knife. Alternately, lay the flat of the blade over the clove a second time and press down to further crush the clove before chopping.
Sprinkling salt on the cutting board absorbs the garlic juice and prevents the clove from slipping.
Use the crushed garlic immediately or store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator.