Cooking with chives

Purple chive blossoms in June

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.

Fowering chives in the garden

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.

Pasta with chive blossoms and parmesan cheese

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.

Chive blossoms in water

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).

Chive blossoms in glass bottle

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.

Chive vinegar infusion

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.

Purple tinted vinegar infused with chive blossoms

8 thoughts on “Cooking with chives

  1. Amazing! Had no idea chive blossoms could be eaten, let alone served with pasta! It’s Summer in a bowl. Looking forward to hearing about your cooking experiments with the infused vinegar. Yum.

    1. I’m so relieved to know that it’s not just me! Summer in a bowl is so very apt, I’m totally with you on that Sas. I’ll try to remember to share about the vinegar experiment, it’s a new one for me. Thank goodness I have friends like you for inspiration 🙂

  2. That looks soooo good. I wonder if we can still grow some in the garden this year. Have you seen any bees on the blossoms?

    1. I think it’s almost never too late for chives, they are really quite fast. I do notice that the bees like the blossoms and I’m very happy with the volume of bees that we see around here generally, given that we aren’t doing anything extraordinary. 🙂

  3. We’ve been eating chive blossoms for years. In fact, our younger child used to nibble on them as a snack when she was quite small. I tear them apart and sprinkle them on salads sometimes. I’ve done the vinegar, it’s very good – and you’re right to strain it. I’ve done a variation of your pasta recipe too – actually with a cream sauce, but yours looks faster and even easier. Definitely going to give it a try!

    1. My hat’s off to you, what a clever household you have! What a great snack for kids; mine have always liked the stems, but never considered nibbling on blossoms. I couldn’t bring myself to tear apart the blossoms, but think that sounds extremely sensible – they’d go further, and you’d have lovely little purple sprinkles throughout. This is definitely one of the fastest dishes I’ve ever prepared, which rates high in my book!

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