Something new harvested this week was garlic chives aka Chinese chives. There is plenty of these in my garden; they reseed themselves so readily. They have planted themselves in multiple places, which is not necessarily a problem, until they start flowering and producing seeds.
Then, you either let the seeds fall where they may and breed more plants, or clip the flower stalks before the seeds ripen to stop the spread. And spread they will without intervention. Still, that’s not my biggest problem about garlic chives.
The biggest problem I have with garlic chives, and regular chives too, is that I don’t have a large repertoire of recipes for them. Most of the time, they ended up not being harvested at all. In other words, they were being wasted. Which begs the question why I let them occupy such a big portion of the garden.
For a long time now I’ve been preaching “waste not, want not” to the kids, and they say teaching is best done by examples. So I’ve been looking for ways to use garlic chives more often in the kitchen, in ways that the family would appreciate. I came up with a few ideas. If anyone has more, please let me know.
Just like the regular garlic bread, but with chopped chives instead of garlic. Make garlic chives butter by mixing softened butter with chopped chives, Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper (careful with the salt, the cheese is already salty), then spread on sliced baguette or Italian bread. Put under the pre-heated broiler, at 350° F, for 5 minutes.
I’m getting good with the “waste not, want not” motto. I used the leftover garlic chives butter in this dish.
First, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Sear shrimps (about 1 lb) on both sides for 1-2 minutes each side, then add sliced mushrooms (5 oz), sauté for 1 minute, then add 2 big dollops of the butter. Swirl pan to distribute butter around. Heat for just 1 more minute, or until butter melts, add milk or cream (about 2 tbsp), heat briefly, then remove from heat. Add more chopped chives. Toss. Served over rice or pasta. So … yummy! Except TB avoided the mushrooms and TG avoided the shrimps. Oh, well, at least they didn’t complain and I didn’t have to cook 2 different dishes.
Perfect for those who don’t like cilantro. Make your favorite salsa recipe, and use chives in place of cilantro.
By the way, we had our chives dishes served with the Bee Gees on the side. If you’re a fan like I am, you know which song really puts you in the mood for chives!
Update: The chives butter lasted in the fridge for at least 4 days without discoloring. We had the last of it folded in our omelets, and they turned out better than great!