The first edible plant to peek out in the spring is chives, even before asparagus pokes up through the ground, chives are beckoning. It is lovely to be able to cut some chives to add to eggs, salads, and even egg salads.
One of my favorite ways to use a lot of chives and reap maximum benefit from these slim beauties is chive oil or chive puree. Once my chives are at least 8 inches tall in the spring, I ruthlessly chop them completely down and make chive oil. Don’t worry they grow back quickly and will even still flower nicely. You can actually cut chives to the ground 3 times a season without harming the plant.
To make the chive oil I chop up the chives then put them into a food processor or immersion blender with a little canola oil, not too much you can always add more. My goal is to have a thick, mostly chive puree with enough oil to cover it. Add a little salt.
It will keep in your fridge for a couple of weeks and is great on all kinds of veggies, stirred into mashed potatoes or as a fancy green garnish on your party canapes. You can also stash a small jar in your freezer to bring out in the winter months, to remind yourself that the fresh taste of spring chives is on the horizon.
Chives are perennials and are very easy to grow. They are a great addition to any garden and even work as part of your landscaping. They can easily be split and given to friends and neighbors. If you’d like to grow chives for yourself, there’s no need to purchase any. Simply ask a fellow gardener who has some if they’d be willing to split some off for you. The best time to do this is in the fall. Simply dig up some bulbs, separate them, and replant them where you’d like. Come spring they’ll pop right up out of the ground!
- 2 cups minced chives
- ¼-½ cup oil*
- ½ tsp salt
Mince up all of your chives
Place them in your food processor bowl with oil and salt.
Pulse to start, scrape down sides, add more oil if the mixture seems dry. Puree until as smooth as you can get it.
Store in a jar in your fridge for up to two weeks, or store in the freezer for up to a year.
* use your favorite kind of neutral flavored oil. Don’t use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this, blending olive oil can make it bitter.