Saturday

Chive Vinegar Recipe and Instructions


Chive Blossoms
If you grow chives in your garden, now's the time to harvest some of those beautiful lavender blossoms to prepare chive vinegar. As a culinary herb project, this one's easy and always makes a big impression. Chive vinegar tastes oniony, but it's not an in-your-face flavor. It's more mellow than the taste of scallions, but stronger than that of fresh chives. Mellow is a good word for it: There's a complexity that somewhat tames the bite of the vinegar and leave you wanting more. It's a nice ingredient in salad dressings and marinades. Although chive blossoms are purplish in color, they turn the vinegar a dramatic pink that looks pretty spectacular in a cruet display, too.

The basic process couldn't be much simpler:

Chive Vinegar Recipe


Ingredients:


1 cup chive blossoms
1 cup white vinegar
Spices, optional (bay leaf, black peppercorns, whole cloves, allspice berries)
Chive vinegar ready to strain and bottle.

Tools:


1 or 2 glass jars with lids (One jar is for initial curing, while the second is for display. If you're not interested in fancy, one jar will do.)
Sieve
Coffee filter
Funnel

Instructions:


  1. Harvest chive blossoms and wash them thoroughly.  You should probably start with at least a cup, but use what you have -- while you can. Chive blossoms are a transitory delight.
  2. Drain or spin them in a salad spinner, and place blossoms inside a clean, glass jar. (I like to prep jars using my dishwasher's sanitize setting. Otherwise, clean the jar thoroughly in warm, soapy water.)
  3. Pour in enough white vinegar to more than cover the blossoms.  The proportions are usually about equal. If you have a cup of blossoms, you'll probably end up using around a cup of vinegar.
  4. Add some peppercorns (about 5 for a cup of blossoms), a bay leaf, a clove (the spice) and an allspice berry if you have one. Seal the jar and place it in a warm, dark location.
  5. Shake the jar every couple of days. This is important because the blossoms will float to the top and tend to poke out of the vinegar. A regular dunking is important.
  6. The mixture should be ready to process in two weeks.

Prepared Chive Vinegar Ready for Spices

To finish:

  1. Strain the vinegar through a large sieve lined with a coffee filter.
  2. *Discard the blossoms.
  3. With the aid of a funnel if necessary, pour the chive vinegar into a decorative jar.
  4. Use in savory recipes as you would any other vinegar.

Chive Vinegar Recipe Notes:

  • You can make large batches if you have enough blossoms; increasing the recipe isn't a problem.
  • *You might be able to get a second batch of vinegar from your blossoms. Just be sure to remove any air pockets during prep. This is a nice way to get maximum value from your harvest, and seems to work best with mature flowers rather than newly opened buds.
  • You can use different vinegars. I've made chive vinegar using white vinegar, apple cider vinegar and champagne vinegar as a base. It's fun to experiment.
  • I like to add spices to mine, but they aren't strictly necessary. If you don't have peppercorns or bay leaf, the blossoms will work their magic on the vinegar anyway.
  • These days I use canning jars in my various preparations since I seem to have plenty lying around. I just placed the initial chive vinegar mixture above in a canning jar and put the jar on my kitchen table for a couple of days to admire the wonderful colors. Sadly, the blossoms fade to a straw color eventually, so chive vinegar (with blossoms) isn't suitable as a permanent decorative display.  

 Want some recipes to showcase your homemade vinegar? These chive vinegar enhanced recipes are a few of my favorites: Chive Vinegar Enhanced Recipes

There's a longer and more detailed recipe for chive vinegar on this blog, but I've simplified it somewhat to make it easier to prepare. You can perform the initial prep in fifteen minutes, with another 10 to fifteen minutes to strain the mixture after curing. It's time well spent. Chive vinegar makes a nice gift and really is a treat.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this recipe. Chives are kind of taking over my yard. I was thinking I should cut those blossoms before they go to seed this year.

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