Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chives, Glorious Chives! (3 Recipes for the Price of One Click)

I recently received an immense bunch of chives from my husband's aunt. As you know, I am a big fan of chives and throw them on everything from sandwiches to soup to dip. Not only do chives make everything taste better, they make everything more nutritious. These tiny green onions provide folate (one of the most important nutrients of early pregnancy), iron, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium and magnesium. It's true that a serving of chives is small and, therefore, delivers small amounts of these nutrients. It's also true that chives are ridiculously low in calories (one tablespoon is about one calorie); they can be included in a variety of dishes, so you can eat multiple servings throughout each day; adding chives boosts flavor, which can help you cut down on salt.

But as much as I love and utilize chives, I wasn't sure how to tackle an armful of them before they'd go bad. And I had no idea what to do with their blossoms. After some thought -- and some research on using the flowers -- I made a few different easy, chive-centered recipes.

Chive Blossom Vinegar

Fill a glass jar with washed and dried blossoms. I included a bit of the chive stem for a stronger flavor.
 

Fill the jar with white balsamic vinegar (you can use regular white vinegar, but I personally find it harsh-tasting and only use it for household cleaning).

Cover the jar with some plastic wrap to protect the cap from the vinegar's potentially corrosive acidity. Screw the lid on tightly. Let it steep for a couple of days in darkness, like in a cabinet or pantry; apparently the color will fade if it's not in a dark spot. The vinegar is ready when it is bright pink.

Strain before using. The vinegar has a very lovely, mild onion flavor that I think might get lost in a dressing but was absolute perfection drizzled over some sliced avocado!


Chive Walnut Pesto
This pesto is a great topping for a grilled chicken breast
I filled my small food processor with chives, cut just enough to fit in the bowl. I threw in a handful of walnuts, the juice of one lemon, a couple of garlic cloves, and salt. I added about 1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  

Process until you have a paste; I like to make it thicker than a regular pesto sauce, so that I can adjust it with extra oil or pasta water, depending on the dish in which I'm using it. Add some parmesan, if you'd like. It's not necessary, but does taste yummy. 

I used a bunch on a bowl of steamed fingerlings and tossed. When the heat of the taters hits the pesto, it smells fantastic. I froze the rest of the pesto in an ice cube tray to use in the future (in scrambled eggs or to add to greek yogurt for a dip). 



Chive Blossom Butter
Snip a bunch of blossoms and chive greens. Put them in a bowl with a couple of sticks of butter, softened to room temperature, and some freshly-ground sea salt. Mash the whole thing together. 
Place on a piece of plastic wrap and form into a log. 
I don't use butter all that often so I made a few logs and put one in the fridge and two in the freezer for future use. 

You can slice off the butter as you need it, to top veggies, pasta, rice or some crusty, toasted bread.

By the way, you don't need the blossoms for this, but since I had them I threw them in. Regular ol' chive butter is pretty dang fantastic.

10 comments:

  1. as well you should ;-)

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  2. *drool* now, i feel bad about the chives that withered away in my fridge last week...

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  3. I'm already taken, lady! But we can celebrate chives together! Your dish sounds ridiculously AMAZING. Fresh ricotta is one of my favorite things in the world.

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  4. Keisha Sutton-JamesOctober 27, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Can I marry you?  :-)  I had chives atop a dollop of fresh ricotta, atop an Anne Burrell gnocchi/prosciutto/pea dish I made last night.  I am still thinking about it!  And then you show all of the

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  5. Any time i have a ton of greens (chives, basil, kale, whatever) i make pesto! Easy and easy to freeze for later use :-)

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  6. I love chives too but don't use them that much (and had never seen the blossoms- so pretty). Love another pesto idea.

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  7. You just this morning, I was looking at the chives in my herb pot (the only perennial in there apparently) and the near quart of yogurt cheese in my frige and thinking they were two things that needed to be brought together. Your inspirations have confirmed this!

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  8. YES! CHives are so versatile and lovely and yummy! Chives + yogurt cheese  = some deliciousness happening! Enjoy :-)

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