The more you do to a clove of garlic, the more potent its flavor will be. Slice the stuff into very thin slices, and it will melt into a sauce. Mince it, and you’ll get more of a garlic punch throughout your dish. Put it through a press or puree it, and it has the strongest flavor. Which method you choose will depend on what you’re cooking, how much garlic flavor you want, and how long the dish will be cooked.
Some hounds prefer to use pureed garlic in preparations where it’s used raw, like dressings or spreads, despite its potency, because biting into a whole chunk of raw garlic can be an unwelcome surprise.
Beyond using a garlic press, there are a few ways to pulverize or puree garlic. The simplest is to use a fine Microplane grater. A classic method is to first mince the garlic, then sprinkle it with salt and use the flat side of a chef’s knife to crush the garlic to a paste. You can do the same with chopped garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle.
Garlic: crushed or chopped?