Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lets talk about Chives

Pictured is Garlic Chives... I love these guys.  They taste great in any recipe that calls for chives or even salads.  And they help out in the garden.  How you ask? Oh that is simple.  Many animals don't like the scent of garlic or onions put the two together and you have a natural repellant. 

They grow back every year even up here in the north.  They produce pretty white balls of flowers which then go to seed.  Although you may want to cut the flower heads off before they go to seed or you may have more chives than you want for the following years.

To cook with them simply cut the chives to an inch above the ground  at any time during the growing season.  They will grow back stronger and thicker each time.  Chop them up to cook with.  Be careful though the smell can get quite strong.

It's hard to dry these guys to use as a dried herb but it can be done if you have a dehydrator.  They take longer than you would think being hollow in the middle.  But simply place them in a dehydrator and turn it on....depending on your dehydrator check back in a day or two to see how they are doing.  Be sure to place the dried leaves into a ziplock bag or other container as soon as they are dry to retain their freshness.

You can also freeze them.  Either on their own or my favorite is in ice cube trays.  Then you just take out an ice cube full of chopped up chives and pop it into your soup or what ever else you are using them in...adds a little bit of water and you get the fresh cut flavor of them.  To freeze them simply cut from the plant and chop right away then either place in a freezer ziplock bag and freeze right away or place the chopped parts into a ice cube tray and fill with water and freeze.  Its best to do this with in hours or even minuets of cutting from the plant so that they retain as much flavor as possible.

To use as a repellant in the garden simply plant along the edges of your garden but especially in the garden with carrots, lettuce, and's not a guarantee but it seems to help.

So get some chives for your garden today and enjoy the scent and cooking with them.

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