Fresh Herbs – Chives

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Chives belong to the same family as onions, leeks and garlic. They grow in clumps from an underground bulb. Chive leaves are round and hollow and produce large round purple or pink flower heads in June or July.

Chives have a mild onion flavor, similar to a green onion. Growing chives is easy. They thrive in full sun and are drought resistant. They do well in a pot on your deck or planted in the ground. After the chive plant has reached approximately 6 inches in height, you can harvest the leaves off the plant, leaving at least 2 inches at the bottom. Once cut, chives can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for about one week. They also can be frozen in a freezer bag, for quick use when needed.

Typically, we think of chives for a topping on baked potatoes, however they can be used in a variety of dishes including cream sauces, eggs and breads. Try substituting chives for parsley in my Ricotta Eggs on Toasted French Bread. It will add a delicate onion flavor to the eggs. Nice compliment to the ricotta cheese.