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Chives

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Last modified on: August 12th 2018

Overview

Chives grow in clumps, and the leaves used as a herb have an extraodinary taste. It's an essential for adding to salads, and everything else that can be eaten cold, because it doesn't like long cooking during which it loses most of its flavour.

Use

Hold all the chives together in a small bunch. Keep only the firm green leaves, discard the rest.chives
With a sharp knife, cut the bunch across, starting from the bottom end, as finely as you can. This is the best way to release the flavour and aromas of chives.chives
It's a rather long operation, but the results are worth it.chives
Don't do this:

You might be tempted to cut medium sized pieces with scissors, but this is a mistake, because each piece will keep its aromas locked inside.

chives
If you only have scissors rather than a sharp knife, cut the pieces as small as you can.chives
Chives will flower once established, producing attractive balls of mauve flowers on long stalks. chives flower
It's not widely known, but the flowers are well worth using. All you need to do is pull on the petals to break the flower head apart.

These can then be added to dishes such as mixed salad (or any other salad) or certain speciality breads.

They bring a light and very subtle chive flavour, and their lovely colour as well, so do try them!

chives flower

Keeping

Chives freeze easily. Make a bunch of about 1 cm or ½ inch diameter and secure with 2 or 3 rubber bands. Freeze like this, then put in a sealed plastic bag. Later, use what you need each time by cutting the end of the bunch (still frozen), like for fresh chives.

Remarks

Unfortunately, chives lose most of their flavour and aroma during cooking, so this is a herb best used raw (salads, etc.).

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