It is that time of year again when we can pick food from the garden for the table. One of our favourites is chives, which my friend, Hiltrud, gave me several years ago. The plant survives every winter and has a prominent place in the vegetable patch. We love the flavour of the tender stems as well as the flowers, so nothing of this wonderful plant is wasted.
While numerous recipes incorporating chives are available on-line, our favourites involve the simple addition of the herb to dairy products such as butter, cheese and sour cream. The subtle flavour of the chives adds special summer flavour to these dairy products.
Chive butter makes a great spread for homemade bread toasted on the barbecue. I add finely chopped chives to softened butter and leave it for a few hours to let the flavour develop.
Chives added to cream cheese or goat cheese make a savoury spread for crisp bread or crackers, especially if you make it ahead of time.
The puffy flowers, pulled apart, add a subtle onion flavour and colour to salads.
Chives and sour cream are delicious on baked potato.
A taste of summer at our house includes chives.