Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chive Blossom Vinegar

 This year the chive blossoms have been unusually spectacular.  The single little pot that was planted 1/2 a decade ago has now scattered seeds, expanding to an area of several feet in diameter, popping up between mint plants (who can take care of themselves, thankyouverymuch).  Each spring, the greens show up before most anything else is awake, and soon the flowers are waving from the tips, sparkling with a color that is unlike that of most spring flowers.  All of the alliums are good for us.  Garlic gets all the press, but they all have the same health benefits to varying degrees.

The long spring this year must have had some effect on the color of the blooms.  They are almost magenta, rather than the usual soft pink (top picture is from last year).  This called for some chive vinegar.
 To make any herb or flower vinegar, all that is required is some good quality vinegar suited to the intended infusion, a jar, and the herb.  For chive blossoms, we want to see the color and taste the fresh garlicky flavor, so we choose a white wine or rice vinegar.  For this batch, it was white wine vinegar.
 Fill the jar with chive blossoms.  Just pop them off the stems, rinse to remove any inhabitants, and dry them on a tea towel for a few minutes, and then put them in the jar.  Cover them with the vinegar.  My own tip (which I use with vinegars and tincture making) is to break up wooden skewers to the correct size, and then make an "x" across the top, just before the jar narrows.  That keeps the plant matter submerged, which is necessary to avoid spoilage.

Within a few days, the color transfers from the flowers to the vinegar.  For flavor, you'll want to taste the vinegar after about a week, and then decide whether to let it continue steeping or not.  This vinegar was the right flavor for me in about 10 days.  Some vinegars you can just allow to sit until you're ready to use them - entirely up to you!

After it was strained, I picked a few fresh blossoms and put them into the bottles I'd be using.  The color will stay on the fresh blossoms, since the vinegar is saturated with color now.

The finished vinegar must be stored out of sunlight to retain the jewel toned brilliant pink color.  Visions of luscious salads dressed with this vinegar and a little oil dance in my head.


Beth @ Daylily Soup said...

Thanks for sharing this, Elaine. This one definitely appeals to me. I'm going to try it soon. I can't wait to taste it ... love the color too! :-)

Carla said...

My chives are in full bloom now. Thank you for the reminder to make this!

Carol said...

Running outside to harvest the flowers right now !!!! Yummmm!

Catherine Love said...

waiting rather impatiently for chives to blossom so that I can make my own :) .

Faith said...

I have some of these that someone gave me last year, I planted them in a container and they came back and are lovely. The color is so pretty in the vinegar..:)

Reggie said...

The plants arer healthy and beautiful. Im amazed by this process of creating the chive vinegar. Thanks for this entry. Now I feel more encouraged to pursue my new project: a healing herbs garden.

Anne-Marie said...

What a great idea! It'll make the the salad dressing you make beautiful and yummy!

Ann-Marie said...

You have made it easy for everyone. It sure worth a try! Thanks for sharing this.

alyson hurst said...

would it work with apple cider vinegar?

Tina Sams said...

Sure! But the color will be obliterated by the color of the cider vinegar. The taste will be good, though.


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