Chives belong to the same family as onions, scallions and garlic.
Chives taste like delicate green onions with a hint of garlic flavor. It is fantastic in herb butters and often used to season potatoes, eggs, sauces or steams vegetables. Use as a garnish on soups, press minced chives into soft cheeses, or add it liberally to dips and salads. It’s also a flavorful, edible garnish for cooked steaks, pork chops or fish – an updated curly parsley sprig.
In the Middle Ages, they were used as a cure for melancholy and thought to cast out evil spirits. Chives are rich in Vitamin C, Folic acid and potassium, and are believed to help with upset stomachs, aid against heart disease and stroke, and curb disease. They can be used to reduce flatulences and prevent halitosis, and behave as a mild diuretic.
Preparation and storage:
- Growing chives at home is easy. Place them in a sunny area and wait until the plant reaches about 6-inches of height before using. Once the plant blooms, it becomes less flavorful.
- Cut chives from the living plant just before your are ready to eat them.
- Snip with kitchen shears to preserve flavor and nutrients.
- Once clipped, store in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer for up to two weeks.
- Heating chives cause some of their medicinal properties to degrade. And frozen chives hold their nutrients better than the dried variety. Snip into small pieces and place them in an ice cube tray with water. To thaw, place a “chive cube” in a container.
Bake a mixture of chives and table salt in the oven to dry the leaves and blend flavors, then store in an airtight jar.