I love chives, but let’s face it–a little bit goes a long way. If I use more than two or three stems (or scapes) at a time, it’s a rarity. So what do we do with this fragrant, romantic herb besides snipping a few stems over baked potatoes? Let’s explore.
Toss with salads –Mark Bittman suggests using copious amounts in a chive salad, with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil.
Chive pesto – make this pesto from Mariquita Farm and store it for later use to bump up flavors in pastas or frittatas. Spread it on crackers too.
Infuse oil or vinegar –chive oil can be drizzled on just about anything and chive vinegar can be used to make salad dressings or marinades.
Make chive butter – it couldn’t be easier. Soften butter on the counter, then mix it with a handful of diced chives. Roll it up in parchment paper and put it in the fridge for slathering on breads, biscuits, or baked potatoes.
Dry for future use – chives dehydrate easily and can be used throughout the year in soups and stews, eggs and other savory dishes. Just make sure to dry them slowly on low heat to keep them from turning brown.
Join a produce exchange – bring your leftovers to a local produce exchange so others can enjoy them too.
Let the bugs get them – chives are great guardians in the garden. The plants can be used as a trap crop for aphids and other pests that are drawn to their pungent odor, leaving the rest of the garden virtually pest-free. Alliums of any kind often repel certain types of bugs, so plant them next to lettuces, chard, and other veggies that are susceptible to infestations.
There are half a million recipes that use chives out there. These suggestions will get you started down that rabbit hole. If you have a favorite way to use chives, share it with us here.