Available fresh, frozen, and freeze dried. Store dried chives in a cool, dry, dark place away from sunlight, heat and moisture. Will keep for 6 months to 1 year.
Chives are a mild member herb of the onion family. Chives has many uses and can be added to potato salad, baked potatoes, soups, salads, omelets, dips and spreads, pastas and sauces.
Use it anywhere you want to add onion flavor without the harsh pungency of onion. Best if used fresh. The flavor is lost in drying. Add fresh or dried chives at the end of cooking to preserve the flavor. However, once you taste fresh chives, you will know there is no comparison of flavor. Soon, you will probably want a fresh pot of chives on your windowsill, even if you have nothing else in your herb garden.
Store fresh chives in damp paper towel in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
You can also chop fresh chives and freeze them with water in ice cube trays to use later when needed.
Chopped chives lift many foods above the ordinary. Sprink them on soups, salads, chicken, potatoes, cooked vegetables and egg dishes. Blend chopped chives with butter or cream cheese , yogurt sauces and baked potatoes. Add toward the end of cooking or as a garnish.
Cultivation of Chives
Site: Chives thrive in full sun and well drained moist soil rich in organic matter. They tolerate light shade, but 6 - 8 hours of direct light is best.
Propagation: Chives can be raised from seed sown in March but it is easier to plant pot-grown specimens in your herb garden during spring or autumn. The most successful means of propagating chives is planting rooted clumps from plants in spring, after frost danger has passed.
Growing: Space the clumps 9 inches apart and 2 inches deep. Divide and replant clumps every 3 or 4 years. Division is best done in spring. Replant new clumps in soil enriched with organic matter, such as fine compost. Water the plants regularly especially during dry spells. Pot in autumn for indoor supply. Can be grown indoors in a sunny window. Over-fertilizing can be detrimental to chives as this plant is not a heavy feeder. A soil rich in organic matter should provide sufficient nutrients.
Harvesting: Cut the grassy leaves to within an inch of soil level - never snip off just the tips and never leave the flower-heads to open if you want a regular supply of leaves. Cut flower stalks off at the soil line once they finish blooming. This will prevent the plant from forming seed and keep it more productive.
Culinary Uses: This is an herb with many uses and universal appeal and is a must for any herb garden. The flavor difference between dried chives and fresh chives is significant. The mild onion flavor can be added to potato salad, stuffed eggs, soups, salads, omelets, cream cheese and sauces. This is an herb needed in everyone's kitchen. Much of its value is lost by drying - for winter use, grow a pot or two indoors or freeze by the ice-cube method. See Harvesting and Storing Herbs.