Chives are a member of the same plant family as onions, leeks, garlic, and spring onions and grow wild all over Europe and North America. The flowers are edible, but it is the stems that are popular in a variety of national cuisines most especially in French cooking. Chives taste and smell mildly of onion and are delicious in potato, cheese, and egg dishes. Chives are a hardy plant that can survive cold winters and will cope with drought and wet weather. They are a perennial that will regrow after cuttings. Chives will grow in early spring, sprouting a slightly mauve coloured flower.
Chives can be used to make a wonderfully vibrant, flavoured oil with which you can decorate soup and fish dishes and make delicious herby salad dressings. You may think the amount of chives in the recipe seems to be quite a lot but it makes for a really impressive colour.
120 g Chives
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
Bring a large pan of very lightly salted water to the boil. Blanch chives in boiling water for 30 seconds, remove with a spider and plunge into a large bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process. When the chives have chilled, drain and remove any excess moisture by patting gently with kitchen paper. Place the blanched chives, seasoning, and oil into a high-speed food processor and blitz to a fine purée. Careful—over-blending can turn the chives brown, then pass through a fine-mesh strainer or muslin cloth. Reserve in the fridge and shake well before serving.
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