How Can I Use All My Chives?

Using All The Chives You Can Possibly Grow

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) in kitchen garden, Uk. June
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Chive Blossom Vinegar

Chives make vinegar glow with beauty. In a literal sense, the vinegar actually glows with a hot pink shade of lovely! By adding your chive blossoms to white vinegar, and keeping it out of direct sunlight, you can create deliciously flavored vinegar that is perfect for salad dressings.

An interesting fact: If you do keep your chive blossom vinegar in the sunlight, it will fade fast.

If it does become clear once again, it will still keep the wonderful flavor.

Edible Blossoms For Salads

Sprinkle fresh blossoms on your next fresh salad, for a light onion flavor. The blossoms are just aromatic enough to enhance the dish, yet not leave your guests with that telltale onion breath. I also enjoy chopping up and mixing some chive blossoms in cream cheese dips. The color is so pretty, and the additional spark of taste is always a hit.

Note that the stem under the flower, can be tough. When harvesting the chive blossoms, remove the stem if you can, or recognize that they are hard to chew. Trim them and remove from your chive harvest. They do compost well, however.

Chive Compound Butter

You may love garlic butter, but you haven't lived until you make chive blossom butter.

I make mine at least 1 hour ahead of time, for the flavors to develop. What's nice about adding chopped chive blossoms is that they marry well with the garlic and other spices, holding up the other flavors without becoming too overpowering.

Chive blossom butter makes a wonderful coating for any steamed vegetable.

Simply slice off a pat and allow it to melt with the warmth of the fresh sauté. This butter finishes a cheese sauce, with a taste that your guests probably can't put their finger on, but will enjoy immensely.

Edible Ties For Your Recipes

I learned this tip straight out of the book: Lasagna Gardening With Herbs, by Patricia Lanza. She mentioned that one could tie up herb bundles with long pieces of chive stems. I started using this idea to tie up vegetable bundles, like asparagus and slim green beans.

Flavor, Flavor, Flavor!

After all of those ideas, never discount simply using your chives to add a bit of light onion flavor to any dish. The flavor or chives is certainly in the onion family, but it has its own level of spicy bite. If you have someone who doesn't like the sharpness that onions can sometimes add, they will most certainly tolerate and even enjoy the taste of chives.

Harvest your chives as often as you can. Snip them flush to the ground, to avoid the unattractive appearance of brown tops the new growth.

These tips do not detract from the flavor, but they do darken in cooking, to an unappealing addition to your dish.

One last thing about chives; they are one of the herbs that freeze very well, without turning brown. If you find that you still have leftover chive stems after trying all 5 of the above ideas, simply harvest bundles of chives and place them in neat stacks, in a zip lock bag. They can be snipped, frozen, directly onto or in any recipe you desire. Delicious!