Chives have been a staple in my garden for several years. They are easy to grow, and here in Iowa, are one of the indicators that it is spring :)
There are 4 chive plants in my herb garden. Three are "regular chives" the other little plant is onion chives. Garlic chives are another option too, which I really really want to try. Chives are easily divided to share with family, friends are just to have more for yourself.
Things got busy around here this spring and the chives got neglected. Once I got around to doing something with them they were just starting to flower.
A quick search online and I came up with some interesting options! I blogged earlier about the sweet apple blossom jelly that I made and it made me wonder if I could do something with the chive blossoms. Sure enough you can and much much more! I had enough blossoms to make both chive jelly and chive infused vinegar. Both are really easy. I also put some chives in the dehydrator. Since I had waited so long to harvest the chives some of them were rather tough so I composted those and only dried the smallest most tender chives. Dried chives I use in all sorts of recipes...breads, dips, mayonaise based salads (such as potato and macaroni) where they can rehydrate. I know that Im forgetting some options so please chime in. :) Chives can be frozen as well, but for me its much more convenient for me to dry them, snip them up and put them in a canning jar where they are easy to grab. No digging through the freezer.
Chive jelly (left) Chive Vinegar (right)
Chive Blossom Jelly (Jam)
1 cup chive blossoms
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cider vinegar (you can use 1/4 lemon juice but I was looking for savory)
4 cups sugar
3oz liquid pectin
Clean blossoms and pour your 2 cups of boiling water over them. Cover and let steep. I left it overnight and then strained it...there were lots of little bits so I strained my "chive tea" twice. It was a pretty pink color.
Once strained add to a heavy stock pot along with the sugar & vinegar (lemon juice). Bring to a rolling boil, once the sugar has dissolved add your pectin. Return the mixture to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Fill your sterilized jars and process for 5 minutes (small jars)
Chive Blossom Vinegar
Pick a generous number of chive blossoms. Soak in water to remove any bugs or dirt that are clinging to them.
Dry well and pack into a jar. I only had about 1 3/4 cups after I made my chive jelly so I put them into a quart sized canning jar. I used about 2 cups of heated distilled vinegar to make my chive vinegar, you could use white wine vinegar as well.
Let your mixture sit in a cool dark place for about 2 weeks. I shake it daily. When your 2 weeds is up, strain your brew and pour it into a non-reactive container. (When making my chive blossom vinegar I made sure I used a canning jar with a plastic lid.) It turns a gorgeous bright pink color!
Delicious on my spinach salad!
i am so making chive vinegar tomorrow. i discovered all kinds of clumps of chives here and there in the garden, leftovers from the previous owners (one good thing they did).
how does the jelly taste? and what will you use it with? is it onion-y?
Oooh! I've got TONS of chive flowers right now! I'm making vinegar as soon as I pick up the kids from school! BTW, where do you find plastic lids for your canning jars?
The jelly does have an onion taste...not overly sweet like i thought it would be. I was surprised with how it was, to be truthful i thought that I wouldnt like it. But I did, now to find ways to put it to use.
Im embarrased to say that I got the plastic lids from walmart :(
Some peanut butter and mayo lids work too if you have some of them????
Also the plastic lids are "Ball" brand..you can order them on their website www.freshpreserving.com
Our small grocery store has also started to carry quite a selection of canning items and I think that maybe last year I got some there???
I really like the plastic lids and use them when I'm storing jars of dehydrated items (herbs, vegies, etc) also handy for jars of rice, pasta and chocolate chips. :)
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