Our chives are starting to blossom! Did you know that the blossoms are edible?
They taste like chives, but milder.
And they make a beautiful lavender-colored garnish.
I've never seen chive blossoms in a grocery store, but the chives in our farm store now include the buds, and the chive buds in our garden have started to open. I cut the flower stalks off at the soil line to prevent the plant from going to seed which encourages the plant to continue producing leaves.
Their season is short, so take advantage of them NOW!
Here's how to get the most out of them:
IF THE BUDS ARE OPEN when you bring them in, you will need to wash them - tiny bugs DO hide inside the florets. Plunge them into water and swish them around several times. Dry thoroughly.
IF THE BUDS ARE STILL CLOSED you can keep them from opening by storing them in the fridge, wrapped in moist paper towels. They will stay unopened for a week or two. There won't be bugs inside the closed buds so you don't need to wash them before using unless there is dirt on the outside of the buds.
If you WANT THE BUDS TO OPEN, put them into a glass of tepid water and leave them on the counter. They'll open in a day or two.
ONCE THE BUDS ARE OPEN, you need to use the flowers quickly or they will ferment. I have kept them packed into a Weck jar for a week, tops.
To 'harvest' the florets, grasp the base of the flower in one hand, grasp the florets between your thumb and forefinger of the other hand, and pull gently. Some of them will still have the tiny stem attached, but that's OK, the tiny stem is edible. The stalk and the papery membrane covering the bud are not palatable.
Use them anywhere you would use chives:
Sprinkle them over salad, soup, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, or sauteed vegetables.
Stir them into softened butter, then freeze in ice cube trays to use later.
Stir them into softened cream cheese or sour cream.
Stir into risotto, or Alfredo sauce for pasta.
Stir them into deviled egg filling.
Preserve them in vinegar.
Pictured below is an asparagus soup with chive blossom garnish served at a local restaurant.
|Asparagus cream soup with chive blossom garnish|
Here are some of my favorite recipes:
Chive blossom Alfredo sauce for pasta
Pesto and Chive Blossom Aioli
Chive blossom mayonnaise
Almond and chive blossom pesto
Chive blossom vinegar (if you use ACV, it will not have that gorgeous lavender color)