I’ve been saying for several years I’d make some wild chive blossom vinegar from the chives growing in our garden. This is the first year I’ve got round to it.

I don’t know where they appeared from, but we have a good (and expanding) patch of chives that grow in the mud patch alongside our house. They’re so pretty, the beautiful balls of purple petals. And the bonus is that the bees love them.

Check out my list of edible flowers and how to use them on my All Things Lists blog

Wild chives (Allium schoeneprasum) are the smallest of the onion family. They’re widely seen across Europe, the North America and Asia, but date back to Ancient Egypt and Mesoptamia in 5000BC. They’ve been used medicinally, but in the garden also act to repel insect pests.

make your own chive blossom vinegar

How to use wild chives and which parts are edible?

The stem and blossom are edible. You can chop the stem and include in cooking or use the flowers as an edible garnish.

You can use them in the same way as you would normal chive herbs.

  • Mix with sour cream or salad cream for a potato salad
  • Chop the stem and add the flowers to garnish a salad
  • Chop and add to soups or stews
  • Mix chopped stems with grated cheese, black pepper, and mayo to make a cheese and onion sandwich filling.
  • Sprinkle over butter on toast.
  • Make garlic bread by mixing butter garlic and chives, freeze the mix for a bit then add to slits in baguettes or spread over bread, wrap in foil and bake
  • Use to make savoury rice dishes.
  • Add to omelettes
  • Make cheese and chive scones
  • Mix with sour cream and grated cheese to make a cheese and chive dip

Freezing chives

If you don’t want to use the chives straight away, you can harvest them by chopping the stems near the ground. Wash, dry on kitchen towel, then chop. Lay out on a baking sheet, and free for a couple of hours. Once frozen, put in a lidded container or storage bag, and freeze until needed. Then just add to hot recipes frozen, or defrost at air temperature before using on salads or cold foods.

growing chives

How to make wild chive blossom vinegar

What you need:

  • Clean jar with lid (preferably plastic lid to avoid the metal tainting the taste)
  • Vinegar – apple cider, white wine or red wine vinegar. I used white wine vinegar
  • Chive blossoms
  • Fine hole colander or muslin

Instructions

1. Pick fresh chive blossoms right up close to the bottom of the flower. Avoid any that look a bit dead or drying out.

clump of chive flowers

2. Pop them in a bowl of water to gently shake out any bugs or bits of dirt. You can leave them on some kitchen paper or a clean tea towel to dry off slightly if you want.

3. Put your chive flowers into your jar, without stuffing them in too much.

after - wild chive vinegar is ready
These were probably too many in a jar!

4. Pour over your vinegar of choice. Put the lid on and leave to steep for 2-4 weeks.

after - wild chive vinegar is ready

5. Using a colander (or muslin) over a jug, strain the flavoured vinegar into the jug, catching the blossoms

6. Store the vinegar in a sterilised glass jar until needed – in the fridge it should keep for a couple of months.

You can use chive infused vinegar to replace anything you’d use normal vinegar for, it just adds a hint of onion. Salad dressings are a great option.

What would you use it for?

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