Chives - The easy, enjoyable herb!
What's the secret to delicious food? Seasoning! And you can grow herbs easily and add a savory kick to your recipes. Although when most people think of growing herbs, they forget one of the most flavorful and fabulous - Chives! They're not just for baked potatoes anymore. Here are some great recipe ideas for this easy-to-grow herb with round lavender-colored flowers.
Chives are one of the easiest and most enjoyable herbs you can grow.They are the first to pop up in the spring, and are often ready to harvest before we have gotten our last frost!
The flowers are wonderful little globes of purple that are spicy and can be used in salads. The plant is a perennial and returns each year. It grows in full sun, but can handle a small amount of shade. You can grow it from seeds, which are very tiny and do take awhile to germinate and grow. The best thing to do is buy one or two plants at a garden center (not the grocery store), and plant them in a sunny spot with good soil.
I have found chives do not need fertilizer, mulch or extra water. They are self-sufficient little plants that only need to be watered during dry periods.Chives in Cooking
Chives are best used fresh. They can be frozen in small plastic bags andused right out of the freezer also. Before I started gardening with herbs I only thought of chives for topping baked potatoes, but they are good for so much more! You can add them to scrambled eggs or any egg dish, dips, sauces,breads, biscuits and off course any potato dishes.
The following recipes are easy and versatile. You can substitute margarine for the butter if you need to. Remember, these toppings are savory, so you don't need much! The great thing about them is they accent your healthy vegetable and fish dishes and make the simplest meal elegant.Herb Sauce
Melt butter, add other ingredients and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Pour over cooked vegetables.
Makes 1/2 cup sauce.Herb Butter
Mince herbs and mix all with room temperature butter by hand or mixer. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving. Wonderful with vegetables, eggs, fish or bread.
Makes 1 cup butter.Spicy Sour Cream
Salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste. Mix together all ingredients. Herbs may be varied but must be fresh for this recipe.
Makes 1 cup.Herb Cheese Spread
Beat together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add remaining items, beat well. Place into a covered container. Serve with crackers or bagels.
Makes 2 1/4 cups spread, or 36 servings of one tablespoon each.Herbed Baked Potatoes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Scrub and rinse potatoes. Cut potatoes into thin slices but not all the way through. Put potatoes in a baking dish. Fan them slightly. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with butter. Sprinkle with herbs. Bake potatoes for 55 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with cheeses and bake for another 10 minutes until lightly browned, cheeses are melted and potatoes are tender. Check with a fork.
Makes 4 servings