Spring is officially here and chives have arrived! Chives are a native herb resembling hollow blades of grass and are the smallest member of the onion family. Like their relatives the onions and garlic, they contain the same volatile, sulfur-containing oil, which gives them their signature flavor and smell. However, their flavor tends to be more mild and subtle than onions or garlic, making them easy to incorporate into many dishes, and more palatable to any “picky eaters” you may have at your table!
Chives are an easy to grow perennial and one of the earliest spring greens to show up here in Minnesota. They can be found in both flower patches and gardens because they are both tasty and pretty. Both the stems and the flowers are edible, but they do get stronger once they flower. To keep chives from flowering, simply keep them trimmed back.
Whether you decide to grow your own, or pick them up at your farmers market or grocery store, seek out slender chives with a uniform green color. Steer clear of any signs of wilting or browning, as this indicates the chives are past their peak. To store, place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where they will keep for about a week. Chives are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and folate.
Chives are surprisingly easy to add to recipes – you can just snip off bits with a scissors, or chop fine on a cutting board. So go ahead and try some fresh chives this week in this easy Parmesan Red Potato recipe.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 cups sliced red potatoes
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add potatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and continue to cook until potatoes begin to soften. Once softened, stir in the Parmesan and oregano and continue cooking until potatoes are golden brown on both sides. Remove from heat and sprinkle with fresh chives.