Monday, July 1, 2013

wannaGROW: Chive Blossoms (and Butter and Vinegar)

I just had a good laugh... at myself. wannaGROW isn't as much about what I can grow as it is about what I can't kill. Rhubarb and chives. What a good starting point!

So, at a certain point, likely around mid-June here, your chives will begin to flower. Those pretty little chive blossoms, with their delicate purple petals, are as edible as the plants that spawned them. 

I've learned that you should harvest the chives by cutting them about two inches above the soil, using scissors, to encourage regrowth. So, unlike the rhubarb where you should absolutely NOT cut, here it is okay to cut. Harvest from the outside edges to the inside. No additional care is required to get from plant to blossoms... it's just part of the life cycle each year.

Now, you can sprinkle the chive blossoms into salads, use them as a beautiful edible garnish, or... you could try something different. Maybe mix some beautiful chive blossoms into creamy white chevre for unique addition to your cheese plate. Or... you could make chive blossom compound butter or a chive blossom infused vinegar!

If you're feeling ambitious, you could make a batch of fresh butter for this little culinary escapade.

Let butter soften and come to room temperature. Add the petals of the chive blossoms to the butter and combine.

2 cups chive blossoms
~4 cups white vinegar (you can always sub in other vinegars here... maybe a champagne vinegar?)

Give your chive blossoms a quick rinse to get rid of any debris or bugs. Put your blossoms in your glass jar, then top with vinegar. Let marinate and infuse for two weeks in a cool, dark place.

Strain vinegar through a fine mesh sieve to remove the blossoms, then decant into a jar or bottle. Now dress your homegrown greens with a beautiful olive oil and your homemade chive blossom vinegar!

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