About Chives


In culinary terms, chives are really classed as a herb, but as members of the onion family they are worth mentioning here. As anyone who has grown them knows, chives are tufts of aromatic grass with pretty pale lilac flowers, which are also edible.

Preparing and Serving : Chives are often snipped with scissors and added to egg dishes, or used as a garnish for salads and soups, adding a pleasant but faint onion flavor. Along with parsley, tarragon and chervil, they are an essential ingredient of fine herbs. Chives are also a delicious addition to soft chesses - far nicer than commercially bought cheeses, where the flavor of chives virtually disappears. Stir also into soft butter for an alternative to garlic butter. This can then be spread on to bread and baked like garlic bread. If adding to cooked dishes, cook only very briefly, otherwise their flavor will be lost.

Chinese Chives : Chinese chives, sometimes called garlic chives, have a delicate garlic flavor, and if you see them for sale in your local Chinese supermarket, they are worth buying as they add a delicate onion flavor to stir-fries and other oriental dishes.

Preparing and Serving : Use them as you would chives - both the green and white parts are edible. They are also deliciously served on their own as a vegetable accompaniment.

Buying and Storing : For both types of chives, look for plump, uniformly green specimens with no brown spots or signs of wilting. They can be stored for up to a week in the fridge. Unopened flowers of Chinese chives are an indication that the plant is young and therefore more tender than one with fully opened flowers.

More Vegetables Guide

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