Few things remind me of spring as much as fresh chives do. Whether sprinkled on salads, soups or even bread, chives are the perfect bright green accompaniment to any dish. And because they grow in just about any environment, you can grow them yourself, easily. Chives need little attention, are proliferate, and are a great starter plant for your children to tend. Try it at your house. Come and cook with us!
Chives belong to the same family as onions, leeks and garlic and resemble hollow blades of grass. They have a distinct smell and taste that derives from an oil common to the onion family, but milder in chives. If you don’t have chives growing in your home, you can pick them up in a store; look for slender green chives, uniform in color, with no signs of browning, wilting or are turning yellow. You can store chives in a plastic bag for up to one week in the fridge; remember not to wash them until they are ready for use.
My absolute favorite way to eat chives comes straight from my childhood, when my mother regularly sent me into the garden to pick a bunch of chives; for a snack we would thinly snip them, and use them as a dip for our buttered bread. I’ve passed this tradition to my children, and they love it, as I did.
Generally speaking, chives match well with egg dishes, fish, potatoes, lettuce salads and soups. We regularly sprinkle them over our smooth vegetable soups (try it on the carrot orange soup), add them to smashed potatoes, and cut them into every vegetable salad we make. And chives with buttered bread regularly pass for breakfast in my hometown; a convenient and delicious way to keep the sugar out of the morning meal! So, this spring and summer, take a chance and give the chive a try. Come and cook with us!