Tuesday

Chives at your Fingertips


Chives are a personal favorite of mine. This herb was the first that I
Chivesregularly went out in the garden to snip in the evening when I first started growing herbs. I keep a special pair of "herb" scissors in a kitchen drawer, together with a small wicker basket to help me harvest the night's herb choices. I have lots of snipping herbs now, parsley, oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, lemon balm, and rosemary to name a few, but chives were the first.

An Onion in Disguise

Chives are a member of the onion family and impart a mild onion flavor when sprinkled fresh on meats and vegetables. They will grow easily where you have well drained soil, and will survive a hard freeze if mulched in the fall. Every year I bring a few chive plants in the house in fall to overwinter on a sunny windowsill.

A New Batch of Chive Vinegar
Useful Around the Kitchen
I think of chives as a staple herb; it doesn’t retain much flavor when dried (my dried chives are usually only flavorful for about a month), so I always have some fresh on hand. I use chives regularly as a seasoning and garnish on almost all the vegetables I prepare. It makes a good stand in for green onion, and I throw some into my mashed potatoes and as a finishing touch for my cream soups and sauces.

Easy to Grow

In spring, chives produce attractive purple flowers. They'll also fill a neglected corner in the garden, producing a good crop on very little real estate. They ask very little. I give them some attention in spring with compost, and make sure not to cut them too close to the soil when I harvest them (a third of the plant per cutting).

In spring I like to harvest chive flowers, too.  These small lavender flowers make an amazing chive flavored vinegar that's cherry red in color and delicious on salads. It's an easy project.  

How to Make Chive Vinegar










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