Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tasty Tuesday Tip ~ CHIVES

I am only pseudo participating in Tasty Tuesday today. The past weekend was wonderful, tho I was not in my kitchen to produce much more than a PBJ sandwich. But ..... something exciting has happened that I have to share. It definitely qualifies as a Tasty Tuesday tip.

Since Spring has been creeping into Tennessee in the same way a chipmunk creeps out to snatch a peanut, runs back and creeps back out again until it gets comfortable enough to stay, things are turning green and trying to live again! My allergies are usually a pretty good barometer of where we're at in the blooming cycle (can I get an amen?), so I knew beautiful things were near. In the front of my house I have a small garden where I like to grow things that ... won't die. I really love it when they are things I can cook with and eat. Enter ..... CHIVES! I'm looking forward to sharing some fun herb recipes as my green things start to return this season.

Chives are a cool weather herb and perennial, meaning if you plant them this spring you will enjoy them year after year at no new cost to you. They are also great "friend makers," meaning you will be able to cut out a clump when they approach monster level, so you can give clumps to friends. Chives will actually bloom, for the first time, before summer, and all of the plant, from flower to bulb, is edible.

I love to snip pieces of chive on the top of a breakfast casserole, in an omelet, in salsa, over baked potatoes, into rice or with any other starch that screams, "Make me look more exciting!" It's even a nice herb to work into homemade bread dough for some flavor. Not a homemade dough maker? That's okay ... brush store bought rolls with butter (or spray with Pam) and then snip chives over the top, and you will suddenly look like a "bistro" baker. The flowers are light purple and can be torn all over a salad or fruit cup. You can see a bud here in this picture. You'll also see we've already been snipping ... Jo made a breakfast casserole for her writing class Friday morning, and she sprinkled minced chives all over the top. Lovely!

Another wonderful quality you will discover when you "chive in" ;) is that chives will quickly grow back and re-flower, even when you chop off the whole bunch, leaving an inch or so of stems. Chives are bright green and add a light, oniony flavor to your recipes. Minced chives are also a fantastic add-in to softened butter: first soften butter, mix in minced chives, chill (here you can get fancy and make chive butter balls with a melon baller) and look all international and Food Networkish to your loved ones around the table.

I would show you more pictures, but there's a reason why I can't. I will explain tomorrow. :) Until then, I hope you have the urge to stop by a garden center or home center (doesn't have to be fancy; chives "is" chives) and get yourself a pot of chives. If you're worried about cold weather, just keep them in a kitchen window, not allowing them to dry out, for a few weeks until you can transplant them.

And that's my "tip" for this Tasty Tuesday. Blessings from my temporarily unproductive kitchen to yours. :)

1 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Theresa said...

I love what you said about growing things that... wont die! LOL

My poor house plants. Thanks for the reminder to water the. :D