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Monday, June 7, 2021

10 Ways to Use Chive Blossoms

By late spring, I'm about out of the onions that I purchased in a 50-lb sack in the early fall. While I wait until the new crop of onions makes it into the stores before buying another large sack, I am supplementing the last of the onions with chives and chive blossoms. 


I have a couple of patches of chives in my garden. They grow well here and would spread themselves freely if I didn't keep them in check. Anyway, the chives have been blooming for about 3 weeks. I've been using the blossoms in addition to the leaves to add an onion flavor to many dishes. The blossoms only last a few weeks in late spring, so I try to make the most of them while I can.

The stems for the blossoms are tough, so I break the flower heads off and toss the stems. This is in contrast to the chive leaves, which are very tender and usable. The chive blossoms are milder than chive leaves. Blossoms are rich in calcium, potassium, beta carotene, vitamins C and K, and folic acid. Chive blossoms (like other members of the allium family) are high in sulfur compounds (thiosulfonates). Traditionally, the blossoms were used to stimulate the immune system. 

Here's a list of 10 ways to use chive blossoms:

  • make chive blossom butter -- wash and pull apart 3 or 4 chive blossoms, crush with a pestle or back of a spoon, blend with soft butter. Refrigerate overnight for the flavor to develop. Delicious on baked potatoes, rice, pasta, and vegetables.
  • make chive blossom cream cheese -- similar to chive blossom butter, just use softened cream cheese in place of the butter. Good for spreading on crackers or crostini.
  • chive blossom vinegar is both beautiful to look at and flavorful for vinaigrettes. Wash and pull apart a cup of blossoms. Crush with the back of a spoon or a pestle to begin releasing the chive flavor. Place crushed blossoms in a glass jar. Cover with a light vinegar and macerate for a few weeks. Strain and use in place of standard vinegar in dressings.
  • use as a flavorful garnish in salads and soups, either whole or pulled apart. 
  • Also delicious and pretty in pasta or potato salad, in cottage cheese, in chicken or tuna salad, or sprinkled over savory casseroles.
  • Blossoms add a delicate onion flavor to smashed potatoes. Nearing the end of smashing a batch of steamed new potatoes, I toss a handful of blossom pieces into the pot and mix together.
  • I also like to add a small handful of blossom pieces to steamed green beans for their delicate flavor.
  • make chive blossom and Parmesan biscuits. To a standard savory biscuits recipe, add a small handful of blossom pieces, 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese, and a dash of black pepper to the dough just after cutting in the fat but before adding the liquid.
  • add a tablespoon of chive blossom pieces to the yolk portion of 3 or so deviled eggs. After filling the egg white shells, sprinkle a few more pieces as garnish.
  • sprinkle into scrambled eggs or add to omelet fillings.

Once the chive blossoms are beginning to fade on the plants (before they dry or shed seeds), I cut back the plants to about 3 inches high. The chives regrow new leaves and sometimes a second, smaller harvest of blossoms. And then I get to repeat many of the uses above!

4 comments:

  1. I had chives at my old house, but not here. Not everyone in this family likes the onion flavor, so I didn't use them much, but really enjoyed them when they were blooming as a pretty flower.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      They are a pretty flower, aren't they? So pretty when mixed in with vegetables.

      Delete
  2. Our chives are doing well this year. I like how pretty they are--they put me in mind of illustrations from a Dr. Seuss book. We typically use them as a garnish but you have expanded my knowledge of how to use them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kris,
      I hadn't thought about their likeness to Dr. Seuss illustrations. But, yes!
      I've been using the chive blossoms almost every day for a couple of weeks now. I try to think of them as onion-substitutes in cooking. Enjoy yours!

      Delete

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