Using Chive Flowers

Saturday, June 03, 2006
This is the second year we have chives growing in the garden and I wondered one day: Can we do something with the flowers? I know about edible flowers such as calendula, violets, and nasturtiums, but I've never tried using chive blossoms.

So I checked around the Web and learned here that they can be used in salads. And here I found a recipe for Chive Blossom Vinegar, which I decided to try.

I harvested the blossoms, rinsed them, and gave them a quick spin in the salad spinner to dry. Then I put them in a jar and covered them with white vinegar.

Almost two weeks later, it looks like this -- a beautiful pink color.

Yes, but how does it taste, you ask? Well, for my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging, I decided to pop the cork and put it to the test.

I took out the flowers and strained the vinegar, returning it to the jar. Then I tasted it straight. It had a very mild chivey-oniony taste. I liked it, although after I mixed it into a vinaigrette for my salad, the chive flavor was almost indistinguishable. Next time, I think I'll use more flowers and perhaps let it sit longer.

What I enjoy most is the beautiful color. It makes a pretty addition to the summer table, and I think it would be a nice homemade gift for someone who enjoys gardening and cooking with herbs. At the very least, it was fun to make!


Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

I love the way chive flowers look. You're right, the pink color really looks beautiful. Great idea.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Stunned Donor said...

The flowers are beautiful. I've never made vinegar with them, but I use them for salads and garnishes sometimes.

5:59 PM  
Blogger David (Snappy) said...

Great idea.You are very brave trying out the chive vinegar,The colour is magic!I will try it when i grow some chives..

1:36 PM  
Blogger Dirty Fingernails said...

Not a big onion/chive person, but love rosemary.. Have you tried rosemary or even thyme.. It is very refreshing..

7:04 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

This is the first time I've tried making herbal vinegar, so I haven't tried it with rosemary or thyme yet. I'm definitely interested in experimenting with other herbs -- also to make flavored oils.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great idea and I can't wait to try it. I think you should probably use it quickly though (within a week or two). I know when you flavor oils with hot peppers you need to dehydrate them first because if any moisture is present, then bacteria can grow.

I don't know if it's the same with vinegar but I'd use it quick just to be sure. And since it sounds delicious, you shouldn't have a problem.

11:17 PM  
Blogger ~ethan said...

It's so odd to me when people say they are planting chives. My family has been trying to cut down on the amount of them growing in our yard for yeeeeeeears. They're in the lawn, in the garden, in pots, everywhere. The colour of that vinegar is incredible, by the way, and I'll need to try that as soon as the crop starts flowering.

My goal is to eat more flowers this year, and I think I'm well on my way.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The flowers are lovely in themselves, but putting them in the vinegar produces a vinegar with a vibrant colour. I will try this myself. Thanks for sharing.
Sara from farmingfriends

2:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think you'd have the bacteria problem in a vinegar, as you would in an oil. I believe the alcohol in vinegar would kill the bacteria.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been using alot of chives growing in my garden, but just read there are 400 different types of allium, some edible some not. Any idea how I can tell if mine are edible or not ? my grandmother planted them many years ago, not sure if theyre just ornamentals, but they do have a milk oniony garlic taste

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that its the acidity that would kill bacteria rather than alcohol content! Many bacteria cannot survive at low pH.. think pickling.. Oil and water do not mix and hence bacteria may grow in the aqueous (water) phase of a chilli oil infusion...

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just prefer to eat the flowers on their own with a salad :)

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Term papers said...

What a great photo instruction for making Chive Flowers. I was always afraid of making them. I should give it a try now. Thank you!

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

chive blossom vinegar will store for a long time. i make a fresh batch every year, so i generally don't store it longer than a year, and it's fine. just be sure to store it in a cool dark place, if you leave it in the light the colour fades quickly.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would it work in cider vinegar as it's healthier than white vinegar?

4:29 AM  

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