When to Use:
Chives are best used fresh in recipes. Dried Chives may also be used will have a weaker flavour and less pleasing texture.
Best Compliments: eggs, fish, potatoes, salads, shellfish, sole, soups
Chives are normally snipped and sprinkled on food just before serving for seasoning.
Fresh chives may be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week. Chives freeze well, cut chives with scissors rinse in cool water and dry before placing in freezer bags.
Substitutions: 1 teaspoon chopped green onion tops = 1 tablespoon chopped chives
When to Plant
In early spring as soon as ground is workable. Chives are perennials so once planted will normally come back on their own in the spring.
How to Grow
Chives grow best in full sun or semi-shade. A reasonably fertile soil is required. Chives do fairly well indoors in pots or planters in bright windows. Plant seeds 1/4 inch (6 mm) apart and 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep. Thin when seedlings are 3 inches (8 cm) high to be about 12 inches (30 cm) apart. Chives will spread into clumps if allowed to grow over the years. Chives transplant well.
Chives are perennials and can be harvested as soon as stems appear.
Home and Garden Tips
If you allow chives to go to flower (large purple flowers) the plant will seed itself quite happily! To prevent over-spreading pick off the flowers before they go to seed. The flowers can be eaten in same way as the green stems – and have a similar flavour. You can also rinse the chive flowers in a cool water bath (to remove bugs and dirt!) then shake dry and stuff into a jar. Heat white vinegar until bathwater warm (but not hot – we don’t want to scald the flowers) and pour the vinegar over the flowers. Place plastic wrap over the jar mouth before sealing with the lid. Now place the jar in cool dark spot for 2 weeks or so and forget about it! When you remember the jar strain the vinegar into a clean glass jar. The vinegar should have a lovely light chive flavour, and a delicate purplish tinge. Use in place of ordinary vinegar when making salads.