Home > Cooking with Herbs > Cooking with Chives

Cooking with Chives

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 1 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Cooking With Chives Chive Garnish Chive

Chives are useful to have growing near the kitchen. They are delicious and versatile with a mild onion flavour. Chives can be chopped up and added to salads and a variety of potato dishes including mashed and baked potatoes. They can also be used as an accompaniment to fish and egg dishes. Chives are best used fresh, rather than dried; however they may be frozen for use throughout the winter months.

Chives are an essential ingredient in the classic seasoning ‘fines herbes’, which is a mixture of chopped tarragon, chervil, parsley and chives (in equal measure). Chives should be used raw for maximum taste. They impart a delicious oniony flavour in salads, soups and stews; however if they are to be used in cooked dishes they should be added at the last moment to preserve their flavour and colour.Chive flowers are also edible. They have a delicate onion flavour and will liven up the appearance of salads and soups.

Using Chives as a Garnish

Chives are fantastic when used as a garnish. Their slender spears look beautiful on a plate and they have other uses too. They are perfect for tying up bundles of vegetables or puff pastry parcels or dumplings. You can also criss-cross small lengths of the spears into patterns on eggs or crackers covered with soft or hard cheese or spread. A simple sprinkling of finely chopped chives will make a bowl of soup look even more appetising. Chive flowers also make a good garnish to a variety of dishes.

Harvesting Chives

The best way to enjoy fresh chives is to grow them yourself in a pot on your kitchen windowsill or outside in a container or herb garden. This enables you to have a fresh supply on demand from spring right through until autumn (if you grow chives indoors you could have a year-round supply). To harvest the leaves (or spears) simply cut them with scissors down to just a few inches above the ground to enable them to grow back.

When harvesting the leaves and flowers, ensure they are free from disease and pest infestation (such as aphids). If you grow chives yourself, it’s important to grow them organically to ensure you do not ingest any chemical pesticides or fertiliser residues. If you buy chives, try to buy organic plants, as commercially grown chives will have been treated with chemical pesticides or fertilised with artificial fertilisers. Wash chives thoroughly before eating.

Summary

Chives are delicious and versatile, and are used in a variety of dishes including potato, egg and fish dishes. They are easy to grow and are best grown near your kitchen so you have easy access to them. When harvesting chives, gently cut them near the base of the stem (do not dig them up, this is unnecessary). Wash the leaves thoroughly and chop into or on top of your dishes within just a few hours of harvesting them. Chives are best eaten raw; however if you do use them in hot dishes, add them at the very last moment to avoid them losing their delicate onion flavour or vibrant green colour.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopfully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Kaz F
    Re: Growing Horseradish
    Hi every summer my horseradish leaves get eaten, end up looking skeletal I've now put raspberry canes next to H.R. Will they be ok and what…
    5 February 2017
  • MARTNAMM
    Re: Growing Bay Leaves
    hw long does bay leaves tree take to begin harvesting.
    26 December 2016
  • none
    Re: Cooking with Sage
    What do I use to get too much sage in chicken and rice soup.
    3 December 2016
  • none
    Re: Cooking with Sage
    How do I get too much sage out of chicken and rice soup?
    3 December 2016
  • HerbExpert
    Re: Growing Coriander
    Mya - Your Question:Can you grow coriander in winter in a tub indoors?Our Response:We've never m
    28 October 2016
  • Mya
    Re: Growing Coriander
    Can you grow coriander in winter in a tub indoors?
    27 October 2016
  • James
    Re: Growing Rosemary
    I recently bought 4 Rosemary Plants. I planted them fully on compost soil and put 2 outside and 2 inside. All 4 of them died, the outside 2 has…
    31 August 2016
  • Myrtle
    Re: Growing Lavender
    Is there anyway of keeping English lavender blooming until September. Would a feed of tomorite encourage it to produce more buds. Many thanks
    29 July 2016
  • HerbExpert
    Re: Growing Coriander
    Linda - Your Question:My coriander was growing well and I had lots off of it. It then grew very long stems and I used the leaves and froze them…
    5 July 2016
  • Linda
    Re: Growing Coriander
    My coriander was growing well and I had lots off of it. It then grew very long stems and I used the leaves and froze them but it is now going…
    4 July 2016
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the HerbExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.