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
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper

    Melt butter, add other ingredients and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Pour
    over cooked vegetables.

    Makes 1/2 cup sauce.

    Herb Butter
    Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • 1 clove minced or crushed garlic

    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
    ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream, light, no fat or regular
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

    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
    ingredients:

  • 2 blocks (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

    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
    ingredients:

  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, chives (3 teaspoons
    dried)
  • 4 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

    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

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