Preserve the fleeting beauty and flavor of edible chive blossoms by infusing them into vinegar.
Preserving Chive Blossoms
Chives are a common and easy-to-grow herb belonging to the allium genus, which includes all species of onions, leeks, shallots, scallions, and garlic. Every Spring they send up flower shoots that open into a ball-shaped head of showy purple (and sometimes white) flowers that last for about 2 weeks. The delicate chive blossoms have the same green onion taste as their green counterparts and can be used as an edible flower garnish for savory dishes or incorporated into recipes for flavor and color.
To extend the short season of chive blossoms they can be infused into vinegar. The onion flavor goes perfectly with vinegar and can be used for making vinaigrettes, dressings, marinades, or for adding acidity to savory recipes. As a bonus, the packaged bottles of chive blossom vinegar make beautiful handmade gifts.
How to Make Chive Infused Vinegar
Step 1: Sterilize the bottle
You will need an 8.5 fl. oz or 250 mL bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid, screw cap, or cork. If reusing a bottle, clean and remove the label first. Sterilize the bottle in your dishwasher or in a simmering water bath for 5 minutes. Remove the bottle from hot water using canning tongs and drain upside down on a dish rack.
Step 2: Infuse the vinegar
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 the bottle with vinegar and seal.
Step 3: Store the vinegar
Store the filled bottle in a cool dry place and allow the chive blossoms to infuse the vinegar for 2 weeks before using.
Tips for Making Chive Blossom Vinegar
Remember the ratio
Use a ratio of 3 flowering chive heads per 8 fl. oz. or 1 cup of vinegar.
Pick the right 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.
To get the most flavor out of the chive flowers it is best to let the vinegar infuse for 2 weeks before using it.
Keep away from light
Store the chive flower vinegar away from sources of light and heat. A cool dark cabinet is the best spot.
Frequently Asked Questions:
When do chive flowers bloom?
Chive plants flower in mid-late Spring. They are usually in bloom in June in New England.
Are chive blossoms always purple?
No, there are several varieties of chives and some have white flowers such as garlic chives. Use any type of flowering chives in this recipe.
How long does chive-infused vinegar last and does it need to be refrigerated?
As a general rule, infused vinegar will keep for up to 1 year stored in a cool dark area away from light and heat. Vinegar is a natural preservative in itself. There is no need to refrigerate infused vinegar.
For more delicious ways to use chive flowers check out these recipes:
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- 235 g vinegar (1 cup/8 fl. oz.) such as champagne, white white or red wine vinegar
- 3 flowering chive heads
- You will need an 8.5 fl. oz or 250 mL bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid, screw cap, or cork. If reusing a bottle, clean and remove the label first. Sterilize the bottle in your dishwasher or in a simmering water bath for 5 minutes. Remove the bottle from hot water using canning tongs and drain upside down on a dish 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 the bottle with vinegar and seal. Store in a cool dry place and allow the chive blossoms to infuse the vinegar for 2 weeks before using.
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