Cooking with fresh herbs is certainly one of my favorite things about summer, and chives I love especially, since they are the first perennial to pop up in my garden each spring. For months I add them to omelets, soups, sauces; their versatility is unmatched. Chive blossoms are delicious too, but who could possibly keep up with their prolific nature?
Luckily herb vinegars are a great way to preserve large quantities of flavor, without having to break out the solar or electric dehydrator. They also take up relatively little space in the cupboard (as opposed to bags and bags of dried herbs), and vinegar is something that most of us use at least once a day.
Here is my simple recipe for Chive Blossom Vinegar. (You can use this method for other fresh herbs as well, even creating your own blends!)
Step 1: Wash Chive Blossoms
Step 2: Spin them dry (or allow to air dry on towels)
Step 3: Pack blossoms into a mason jar (the June 12th CSA share provided enough for one pint)
Step 4: Fill with vinegar-- any old kind will do. Heck, even go for a mixture of vinegars, if you're feeling frisky. (For this batch, I used a mixture of white wine and cider vinegar.)
Step 5: Cover with a tight lid and label with the date.
It's really that easy.
If you use metal lids and rings, put a piece of parchment paper on the jar before tightening the lid (the acid will corrode the metal). If you're using plastic lids, no parchment necessary.
Once you've finished this very complicated procedure, store your work in a cool, dark cupboard. After only a few hours, you'll notice the vinegar turns a lovely violet color. After a few days, it deeps into an almost magenta. After two or three weeks, this garnet-colored liquid is ready for you to strain and enjoy. Store it in a clean bottle at room temperature, basically until....
If you're not experienced with using herb vinegar, I would suggest that you start with a simple vinaigrette; tossed with some of Marisa's Outstanding Salad Mix, you'll be able to appreciate the not-too-subtle nuance of this peppery concoction.
I hope you're enjoying these blog posts so far. And I hope to see all of you faithful Lost Barn CSA subscribers this Saturday, at the first Farm Potluck of the season! And if you'll bring a dish using ingredients from this week's veggie share, I'd love to swap recipes and share yours on the blog!