Chives

GROW IT
A member of the onion family, chives are grown to use their stems and delicate lavender colored flowers. They multiply rapidly both from the bulbs and by re-seeding if you let the flowers dry. Can be grown in clumps in the garden, as a tidy border around vegetables and flowers, or simply in a pot. Keep well watered. Chives grow thicker faster if they're cut often.

Although you can buy dried chives, they’re not very tasty. You can bring some chive plants indoors and plant them in a pot in a sunny location for fresh chives in the winter, or simply freeze some while they’re abundant. You’ll be glad when winter comes and you’re craving creamy mashed potatoes with fresh chives! It only takes a few minutes to harvest, wash and cut some up, put them in a zippered storage bag and plop them in the freezer.

HEALTH BENEFITS
Antibiotic properties. High in vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, magnesium phosphorus, potassium. Good for blood pressure control and the kidneys.

USE IT
Snip off pieces to add to potatoes, salads, salad drssings and dips or to make a delicious chive butter.

 

CHIVE BLOSSOM VINEGAR
1-1/2 cups white vinegar
2-1/2 cups chive blossoms (snipped just below the flower)
Glass jar or bottle with glass or plastic lid, such as a vinaigrette bottle

Put chive blossoms in a colander. Lower the colander into a bowl of cold water to which you’ve added a pinch of salt (this chases out any creepy-crawly things that were hiding in the blossoms). Let soak for 5 minutes, lift colander, rinse well, bang colander in sink to remove excess water, then dry blossoms on a towel or paper towel.

Put vinegar in saucepan over low heat to warm. DO NOT BOIL.

Stuff chive blossoms in jar(s), and cover with vinegar. DO NOT USE A METAL LID, which can be corroded by the vinegar.

By the next day you’ll find the vinegar has turned a delightful shade of lilac! Let it steep for 2 weeks – if you can wait that long – and strain out the blossoms; the longer they stay in, the more colorful the vinegar becomes and the stronger the onion flavor. After straining out the blossoms, pour the vinegar into another clean jar or bottle.

Chive blossom vinegar makes a beautiful gift… if you can bear to part with it.