Such a common site in a garden, but so undeniably pretty: chives in blossom. It’s hard not to love chives – they are unbelievably easy to grow, easy to look after, and they tend to keep coming back each year. So lovely to look at, and such a fresh flavour for so many dishes. My garlic chives are particularly abundant at the moment, and it suddenly occurred to me that I’ve never made use of the blossoms. That left me feeling very thick for a moment, and then I got looking for ideas.
The internet, as ever, obliged with quite a few delicious-sounding recipes making use of chive blossoms, and I settled on Chive Blossom and Lemon Pasta in a heartbeat.
Chive Blossom and Lemon Pasta, original recipe from Foodie Reflections
Pick a nice selection of chive blossoms, snipping them off right at the base of the blossom; soak them in water to get rid of any visitors or dirt, then rinse. Roughly chop any other fresh herbs that you have to hand and wish to include (I used some garlic chives and fresh oregano from my garden). Throw on some water to boil and settle on a pasta shape (I had a smaller penne-type pasta to hand). Grate a generous amount of parmesan cheese. When the pasta is ready, toss in the cheese, a very generous splash of lemon juice, about a tablespoon of good olive oil, as well as freshly ground salt and pepper. Mix in the blossoms last and eat. What a fast and rewarding dish.
Infusing vinegar with chive blossoms also looked like a good plan, so I rinsed another collection of blossoms and followed the directions for a small test batch of Chive Blossom Vinegar from Leite’s Culinaria. You need only two items: chive blossoms and either champagne or white wine vinegar (I had the latter on hand).
My modest little batch was poured into a clean bottle that originally held cream. Once the warmed vinegar was poured over the blossoms, I put on the plastic airtight lid and placed the jar on the top shelve of my pantry where I knew it would be guaranteed a dark spot.
Only four days later, my infusion was already a deep lavender. I’ll be straining it in another day or so, and then thinking about the best use for it. I’m rather glad that I’ve woken up to the full potential of this lovely herb. If you’ve been creative with chives, their blossoms or other herbs, I’d love to know about it.