The garden has started to burst forth with life as it does every June. One of the first herbs to flower are the chives which line a portion of the stone wall. When I was pregnant with Iley our midwife gifted us chive plants and a raspberry plant she separated from her garden. Such a gift to still see them growing 7 years later.
Chives belong to the allium family and produce beautiful purple ball clusters of little pointed bell shaped blossoms. And yes, they taste just like the tender green chive shoots. They are perfect to use as garnish for savory dishes, but only last for a few weeks each spring. The good news is they dry and preserve easily so you can harvest and store them long after their season has ended. Two of my favorite methods of persevering them is to use them in an herbal finishing salt and to infuse vinegar. Both of these preparations make beautiful handmade gifts as an added bonus.
I also added them to a super easy 3 ingredient cultured cashew cream cheese, which is my new favorite thing to smear on sourdough. It would be perfect to serve at a party on a crostini board or for sunday brunch with bagels and lox (if that’s your jam).
Stay tuned for more ways to #eattheflowers from your garden, foraging basket or farmers market coming to this space! As always I love seeing your creations! If you make or are inspired by any of my recipes please tag me in the photo and caption (@fareisle) and use #fareisle so I can see them and share on my insta stories!
recipes after the jump…
Chive Blossom Vinegar
Yield 1 cup
Preserve the fleeting beauty and flavor of flowering chives by infusing them into vinegar. Makes a lovely DIY gift!
- 1 cup vinegar, red/white wine or champagne
- 3 flowering chive heads
- You will need a 1 liquid cup or 8.5 fl. oz or 250 mL capacity bottle with a tight fitting lid, screw cap or cork. If reusing a bottle, clean and remove label first. Sterilize the bottle in your dishwasher or in a simmering water bath for 5 minutes. Remove bottle from hot water using canning tongs and drain upside down on a drying rack.
- Shake off any soil or insects that may be hiding in the chive blossoms. Place 3 flowering chive heads into the bottle, using a skewer to help push them through the neck if needed.
- Fill bottle with vinegar and seal. Allow chive blossoms to infuse the vinegar for 2 weeks before using.
Store in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.
Scale up the recipe to make a larger batch. The ratio is 3 flowering chive heads per 8 fl.oz. of vinegar. A lighter color vinegar such as white wine or champagne will absorb and reveal the natural color of the chive blossoms better than red wine vinegar. I used red wine vinegar here because I had a bulk supply of it on hand.
Chive Blossom Finishing Salt
Yield 1 cup
Use flowering chive blossoms to make your own herbal fishing salt! Makes a lovely DIY gift!
- 1 cup flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
- 1 cup chive blossoms
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated lemon zest
- Line a small sheet pan or tray with parchment paper. Fold cheesecloth to the size to cover the tray.
- Pick blossoms off of flowering chive heads to make 1 cup of blossoms.
- Combine salt, chive blossoms and lemon zest right on the parchment lined tray using your clean and/or gloved hands. Spread out mixture into one layer and cover with cheese cloth.
- Allow salt mixture to dry out at room temperature in the driest part of your home. This will take around 2-4 days depending on the humidity. Check it daily and stir it around to encourage even drying.
- Once the finishing salt is dry, package it into a clean dry jar with an airtitght lid.
Store in a cool dry pace for up to 1 year.
Scale up the recipe to make a larger batch. The ratio is 1 dry cup of salt per 1 dry cup of chive blossoms per 1 tablespoon of fresh grated lemon zest. Package into spice jars and label to give as gifts.
Chive Blossom Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese
Yield 2 cups
Flavor up a batch of super simple cultured cashew cheese with edible chive blossoms for the tastiest spread!
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup unsweetened plain non-dairy yogurt with live active cultures, such as Coyo coconut milk yogurt
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- 2 tablespoons chive blossoms
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
- Optional: more mined chives, chive blossoms and other edible flowers to garnish
- Cover cashews with water in a jar and soak overnight or cover with boiling water to soak quickly for 1 hour.
- Drain cashews and puree with yogurt and salt in a high speed blender until ultra smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Mixture will be thick so use tamper to help blend it or stop and scrape sides as you go.
- Scrape out mixture into a bowl using a rubber spatula. Stir in minced chives and chive blossoms. The cream cheese is ready to be chilled before serving at this point or can be aged for 1-2 days in the fridge. To do this, line a strainer fitted over a bowl with muslin, fine cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Scrape cream cheese into the lined strainer and loosely cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days. The cheese will naturally thicken and some whey may strain out into the bowl. Unwrap cheese and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Before serving, garnish with more minced chives, chive blossoms and other edible flowers if you’d like. Enjoy!
Serving suggestions: slices of sourdough, crackers, bagels, baked potato or sweet potato rounds, or use as a sandwich spread.
Prop Love: Table linens by Nade Studio. Brass spoon and petit four plate by Facture Goods. Small ceramic dishes by Chloe may Brown. Cheese board by Sweet Gum Co. Small white bowl by Lee Wolfe Pottery.