What to do with chive blossoms

Edible flowers can add a splash of color and fun to lots of dishes and chive blossoms are one of the few that add flavor too! The chive flower is a small puff of pinkish or light purple florets on a tall, sturdy stalk that shoots straight up from a clump of chives and they're completely edible! They have a light oniony flavor and can be used dried or fresh.

A clump of chives growing in garden with pretty purple chive blossoms.

All chives produce flowers, so if you're growing chives in your herb garden you will get chive blossoms. If you don't grow chives, look for them at farmers markets. They're a pretty popular item this time of year so many famers sell them. They only bloom once though, so make sure you look for them at the beginning of garden season.

Today I want to talk about the best ways to use chive blossoms!

Chive flowers

These little puffs of color start growing in spring or early summer. The chive plant sends up thick, sturdy stalks with a tiny bud on top. Once these buds are fully open they can be harvested and used in the kitchen. It's important to cut the flower heads off before they dry up and go to seed or they will plant themselves wherever the seeds fall. 

Chives will try to take over your garden! They are really invasive if allowed to be! I spent hours this year digging clumps of chives out and 'rehoming' them because I didn't deadhead the flowers a few years back. 

Harvesting chive flowers

Cut the flower off right at the top of the stalk. You can remove the stalk also, but it's probably not something you'll want to eat. They are rather tough. You could chop them and add them to soups or stews, but you definitely wont want to eat them raw. 

Diagram/image how to cut chive flowers for culinary use

There is one other use for the chive blossom stems. I like to chop them into smaller pieces...about 3" long, and scatter them at the edges of my garden. Rabbits, chipmunks and squirrels tend to dislike chives and the smell helps to keep them away from the garden. 

Of course this is a temporary fix, because once the chive stems dry out the smell dissipates and the furry pests don't seemed bothered by them anymore.

Using chive blossoms

I have several ways that I like to use chive flowers: 

The fresh flowers can be used to flavor vinegar: Chive Blossom Vinegar recipe.

The fresh flowers can also be air dried then used to flavor compound butters: Chive Blossom Butter recipe.

Fresh flowers can be added to salads for color and flavor, like this Cucamelon Salad recipe

They can be used in place of chives on top of baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato skins or any other recipe that calls for fresh chives as a topping. It's a lighter flavor, but definitely prettier! 

They can be dried and saved just like any other herb.

Chive blossoms on dehydrator trays

Dehydrating chive blossoms

Clip the chive flowers off the stem all the way at the top as indicated in the image above. Rinse in cool water to get off any bugs or debris that's hanging on. Allow to drip dry in a strainer then move to a lint free towel. Gather the edges of the towel to make a pouch, and shake it a bit to pull off excess water. 

Air drying chive blossoms takes a long time if your air is not particularly dry, for this reason I use a dehydrator. Space the flowers out on the trays and set it on low for about an hour then check for dryness. Add an extra 15 minutes of time to the dehydrator if they're not dry yet.

I let them sit out overnight on the tray just in case there is any moisture left behind. Check for dryness again. The flowers will feel papery and light when completely dry. If they still feel damp put them in the dehydrator another 15 minutes and allow to rest overnight again. 

Store in a glass jar. They keep for about a year till the flavor starts to get weaker. 

I use them both fresh and dried, though my favorite is to use them fresh as a garnish. They just add something special to salads and other foods! How do you use chive blossoms? 

~L

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1 comment:

  1. Never thought of drying the blossoms. What a great idea!
    Thank ever so ~ 💜

    ReplyDelete