The chives are flowering en masse! Now’s the time to make a flavorful vinegar.
All at once, the herb bed is filled with the fluffy little purple blossoms as the chives send up their flowers. They are beautiful, they are fragrant, and they are tasty as well.
Break up the flowers and use them as a chive-flavored garnish to your salad. Add color to a casserole, or sprinkle them liberally over vegetables. Whirl them along with greens and olive oil to make a quick chive pesto to top a piece of chicken.
But my favorite way to use them is to preserve them in vinegar to make a rosy, chive-flavored addition to the condiments shelf.
A superbly intense chive flavor
It takes only a few minutes to make, and few days to steep. The chive flavor will be deliciously intense; all you will need to make a flavorful vinaigrette is the addition of a little olive oil, and a pinch of salt. It is delicious drizzled over fish, or just about any vegetable.
Before you begin, run your canning jars through the dishwasher just to be on the safe side. If you are only making one jar, boil it in a pan of water for five minutes.
Chive Blossom Vinegar
Pick a basketful of chive flowers, you’ll need about a quart, cutting the stem off tight to the blossom. Place them in a large bowl of water and swish around to get rid of any little hitchhikers from the garden.
Drain them on a paper towel and let dry.
While the flowers dry, in a saucepan warm gently:
3 cups white wine vinegar
Pack the blossoms into a quart canning jar, nice and tight.
Pour the warmed vinegar over the flowers and fill jar nearly to the top.
Place a little circle of parchment paper on top to keep the chives submerged, and set aside for three to five days. The longer it sits, the stronger the chive flavor.
When ready, strain the chives from the vinegar in a cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer, and discard. Pour the vinegar into smaller bottles (which you have also run through the dishwasher) and enjoy! It is best to use a bottle with a cork or other non-metallic stopper.
Chive Blossom Vinaigrette
In a canning jar, combine:
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup chive blossom vinegar
Pinch of salt
Cover and shake well. This is the acidity I like best, but if you like it more mellow, you can increase the ration of oil to vinegar to a more traditional 3:1.
© Copyright 2019 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read, The New Vintage Kitchen.