You know the usual way to skin a garlic clove…you smack it with the flat side of a knife (or we like the bottom of a large, heavy can). The skin comes right off…and what do you have? Smashed garlic, ready to go. But what if you want a nice, whole naked clove to make uniform slices or to use in your 40-cloves-of-garlic recipe? Here’s what to do…

Rapidly rub a clove of garlic between your palms (as if you were briskly rubbing your hands together to keep them warm), applying firm pressure but not too much—you want to keep the clove whole. The thin garlic skins should come right off, while your beautiful garlic clove stays intact.

If you want to peel many cloves (or you don’t want your palms to smell like garlic), you can immerse the clove(s) in cold water for 20 minutes. If you forgot to plan ahead, immerse in hot water (just-boiled or from the tap is fine) for five seconds. The skins will slip right off. The hot water will soften the garlic slightly, but it will stay firm enough to slice.

Thanks to David Boyer, editor of The Daily Burst free e-letter for help with this tip.

More help in the kitchen…