Lets talk about chives. They grow like a weed here, and because of that, I have probably undervalued them in the past. As I patiently wait on the rest of my garden to grow in, I have decided to use chives as often as possible.
In the past, I have picked a few here and there but mostly these abundant perennials have gone unused in my garden.
Chives really have a lovely flavor. They are a mild, onion-flavored herb that offer a lot of versatility to cook with. Some of my favorite uses are: blend it with oil to give it color and flavor (Sudachi does this), add it to butter to add flavor (Snake River Grill does this), use as a garnish on top of pasta, cut small piece over a salad to add variety, added to potato salad, and my new favorite, as a fresh herb salad dressing.
Looking for some chive inspiration, I noticed a feature on the herb in Bon Appetit a couple of issues back. The writer was raving about chives. As I said, I have always been a little indifferent. Reading it got me inspired to start using my early season harvest.
First I sprinkled it on top of a bowl of potato salad. It not only looked pretty sprinkled on top, but it also brightened the dish and added a nice, light flavor. I have also been cutting some into my greens, and in doing so, it gave me an idea that it would make a nice herb dressing.
Bon Appetit had made a dressing too, but it seemed rather basic, and I wanted to create an extra flavor. I love the taste of apple cider vinegar. It is so bright and makes a good base for salad dressing. I am also a big fan of keeping roasted garlic in my refrigerator so I can use it easily when I want to (it takes an hour to roast so having it ready to go cuts down a step).
This dressing is quick to make and was so delicious that I made it two nights in a row. The first night I made a simple salad with just greens. The second night I did a chopped salad with grated carrots, fresh corn, cojita cheese, avocado, tomatoes and chopped romaine.
I think you could use the dressing on warm potato salad. Mix steamed potatoes with chopped celery, and add the dressing and serve while the potatoes are warm. It would be nice with pasta salad too and any green salad I can think of.
If you prefer, use a lighter oil, like vegetable oil, and you could get the same affect with a different vinegar or lemon juice but I thought the cider vinegar was perfect.
Since the chives will start to brown after a while, the dressing looks most appealing when it is fresh and bright green so try to make it shortly before you use it.
Recipe: Fresh Chive Dressing
- ¼ cup of fresh chives, chopped
- 4 cloves of roasted garlic
- ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup of olive oil
- salt and pepper
- In a small bowl, mash the roasted garlic into a paste (of 2 cloves fresh garlic if you don’t feel like roasting it). Mix in the vinegar with salt and pepper. Then, slowly whisk in the olive oil a bit at a time until it is well combined.
- Taste for seasoning and add the chives in.
- This is best made less than an hour before serving for the freshest taste.