What’s in Season: Chives

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What’s in Season: Chives

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Start thinking of your favorite dips, soups, and seafood dishes, because it’s the beginning of chive season again! 

This delicate herb adds a zesty finish to almost anything savory, especially potatoes and other vegetables, shellfish, pork, and eggs.  Chives also spruce up baked goodies like scones, quiches, and cheesy biscuits!

“All”-ium in the Family
Like their scallion cousins in the Allium family, chives offer a more subtle onion flavor but still plenty of nutrients.  Chives are of Mediterranean origin and are an excellent candidate for home growing; they’re highly perishable once cut, but tolerant of a range of conditions and helpful in keeping insects out of the garden. 

Choosing and Storing
We usually eat and buy only the leaves, but chives have edible, pinkish-purple or white flowers at their tops.  Look for blades that are vibrant green and hold their tubular shape, avoiding bunches that are flattened, moistened, or yellowed.  Keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and don’t wash them until you are going to use them.  Treat them gently – many prefer to snip them with scissors.  If you opt for your kitchen knife, make sure it’s sharp.

Punch it up with Chives
Chives are almost always added at the end of the recipe, as a raw garnish or as a finishing ingredient.  The only times you will really cook them are in savory baking, an occasional filling, or in an herb bouquet for a stock.  A classic American pairing of chives is potatoes (we also like them with sweet potatoes), followed closely by eggs (throw them into an omelet or other egg preparations).  They are often featured in mayonnaise-based sauces to accompany seafood like crab and shrimp. Another old standard is combining them with parsley to garnish pasta dishes, like our Lemon Linguine or macaroni and cheese.

Need more ideas? Here are some of some of our favorite recipes with chives:

Fried Green Tomatoes with Vidalia Onion Relish
A reliable Southern smash hit with special sauce.

Shrimp Dip
An oniony, creamy, app served with hot pepper jelly on toast points.

Prosciutto-Stuffed Mushrooms
Minced into a cream cheese filling.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Sandwich
Folded into a homemade roasted tomato remoulade for a delicious sauce!

Farmers Pork Chops
Served with signature white sauce.

Fried Bacon Mashed Potatoes
The whole nine – in a whole wheat country bread bowl, or for a lighter option, try:

Mashed Cauliflower
Bias-cut to garnish this elegant, simple, and nutritious side.

Other fun things you can do with chives:
-Dehydrate them.
-Add them to green sauces and dips to preserve color and brightness – an old food styling trick…
-Try chive blossoms as garnish for salads or eggs, or deep-fried!

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