To make garlic paste, peel and finely mince 1 or 2 cloves of garlic. Sprinkle the garlic with a big pinch of salt. Turn the blade of your knife on its side and move the edge of the knife back and forth across the garlic until it’s soft and smooth. The pressure from your knife, combined with the pressure from the kosher salt grains, will help break down the garlic, turning it into a flavorful paste.
The knife movement sounds far trickier than it actually is. You’re using the almost-flattened blade of the knife to crush or grind the garlic and salt grains together. You can make the paste without the salt by following the same process and just grinding the garlic on the cutting board by itself. If you are using salt, be sure to compensate for the amount of salt in the paste when you add it to other dishes.