Unlike many herbs in history, chives didn't attract a lot of attention early on. Their lanky grass-like leaves didn't boast any medicinal value, although some people believed that chives could drive away evil.
Fortunately, the Chinese and Greeks enjoyed the mild sweet onion flavor of chives in many of their foods. Today, chives are one of the most popular culinary herbs.
A member of the onion family, chives can be used fresh, frozen or dried. If you buy them fresh, avoid those that have a wilted appearance. Fresh chives make a pretty plate garnish.
Chives complement a variety of vegetables, including potatoes, artichokes, cauliflower, carrots and peas…and enhance fish, poultry, eggs and veal.
You can add them to soups, salads, stews and salad dressings. Or simply mince fresh chives into a mixture of sliced or chopped cucumber and tomato, with feta cheese and a dash of olive oil, for a refreshing side dish.
Try These Choice Chive Recipes
"I love the combination of cream cheese and chives…and it goes so well with the other savory ingredients in Chive Egg Dip (pictured above)," writes field editor Ruth Peterson from Jenison, Michigan.
Browned chicken gets a pleasant flavor boost from a creamy white sauce featuring chives and mushrooms in Chicken with Chive Sauce (pictured above). And it makes a lovely presentation when served over white or wild rice. The recipe from field editor Becky Baird of Salt Lake City, Utah is easy to prepare, too.
"Cheesy Chive Crisps (pictured above) are great to keep on hand for guests," says Eve McNew of St. Louis, Missouri. Since the recipe makes a lot, you might want to freeze some of the cheese logs for future use. Be sure to thaw them in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours before slicing and baking.