Got Me Some Garlic Chives-Now What?
A couple of years ago, I decided to jump on the herb garden/kitchen garden band wagon. Knowing little about herbs, I picked up garlic chives as one of the plants. Since then, I've learned a few things about the plant.
Garlic Chives is an herb with a clumping growth habit. The flowers of the plant are white balls are are very pretty. They dry nicely and can be used in flower arrangements.
WORD OF ADVISE: As nice and pretty as the flowers are, if you don't want Garlic Chives taking over your bed and yard-CUT OFF THE BLOOMS!
Garlic Chives are a very prolific seeded. Trust me on this one. All the little green hairs you see in the picture- those are garlic chives... and I have pulled out a bunch of them. I don't even have the hope of them not coming back in the spring. Garlic Chives are hardy to zone 3- we live in a zone 5/6. I'm going to be fighting them for a while.
Now for the positives about the Garlic Chives... YUMMY! The first thing I made with Garlic Chives was scrambled eggs and ham. I just cut up a few reeds of the plant (I call them reeds because they are a flat blade) and added it to my eggs. As it cooked, the flavor of the chives cooked in and it was so good. I've since found a few recipes to use the chives in. (See the recipes page on the website)
The best time to harvest the Garlic Chives is spring, but life got busy here and I have harvested them this morning. I have a nice bunch of reeds. My plant got a much needed hair cut and I have chives to cook with and freeze.
Washing chives is easy. In a cake pan, using the kitchen sprayer, rinse the chives to dislodge any dirt. Drained the water and washed them again with the sprayer, then rinsed under the cool tap water. Placed the chives on a paper towel and patted them with another paper towel to get the majority of the water off. Now let them air dry. Toss them a few times to make sure all side of the reeds are dry before proceeding.
If you are not wanting to use your chives right away...
Garlic Chives will store in the frig for several days. I wrap mine in a damp paper towel so they don't dry out.
Freeze chives by cutting them into small pieces-your choice on the size (I like them smaller so about 1/4 inch long) and lay them out on a baking sheet so they are separated. Slip the pan into the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove the cut chives from the freezer and, working quickly so they don't defrost, remove the pan and put the frozen pieces in a freezer bag and back into the freezer. Doing it this way, you will have individual pieces to use and not one big glob.
You can sun dry chives, which I am doing right now. Again, cut the pieces into your desired length-the shorter the less time to dry. Lay them out in the sun and toss periodically until dry. Timing this with a hot dry day will work best! ( I was doing this today out in the 90+ degree weather, then the rains came! I'll keep drying them indoors until the rains pass.) Once dried, store in an air tight container.
Regardless of how you use Garlic Chives, they will add a nice flavor to your dish. Most of the time I see them paired with parsley, so guess what??? I'm going to grow some parsley too!