Continuing with the fresh herbs series this segment will focus on chives, their varieties and some common uses for the herb as well as a recipe too.
The garlic chives variety shown in the photo are grown in a hanging basket that drops from a limb of the single diminutive Dogwood tree in our front yard. As you can see from the image the plant has started to flower, but the chives are still usable and quite tasty. I love the light garlic taste and fragrance these impart in any dish that calls for chives. The garlic flavor does not overwhelm the chive oniony flavor, but adds a delicate touch that combines into a unique garlic/onion taste. Garlic chives have a flatter leaf profile and produce a white flower, whereas the regular chives plant are distinguished by the rounded leaf pattern and by the production of pink to purplish flowers. Garlic chives are also known as Chinese chives due to their prolific use in Oriental cuisine dishes.
We purchased our garlic chive plant a few years back at the Wake Forest Herb Festival which is held every April in Wake Forest, NC.
Chives1 date back to about 5,000 years ago but were not cultivated until the Middle Ages, but the exact time frame within the ages is not known. The scientific classification name Allium schoenoprasum is derived from the Greek words for sedge and onion. The word Chive is and English name derived from the French word cive, which comes from the Latin word cepa which means onion. Besides being a great flavor addition to culinary preparations chives are also a great insect repellent in gardens to control plant eating pests.
Besides their obvious culinary uses there are some lesser known medicinal uses for chives, including similar beneficial properties of garlic, specifically helping to lower blood pressure. Chives contain vitamins A and C and also have trace minerals such as sulfur and iron.
So here as promised is a recipe that includes chives and it is my homemade Boursin Cheese. This quick recipe uses cream cheese, however, you can use any soft and creamy type of cheese, in fact a soft goat cheese would really add another flavor profile and dimension.
Boursin Cheese ~ Homemade
|2||Tbsp||Chives, fresh, chopped|
|1.||Soften the cream cheese to room temperature, or to speed it up in the microwave for 30 seconds on high.|
|2.||Combine the chives, garlic, garlic salt and white pepper with the softened cream cheese and mix well until smoothed.|