Chives are somewhat misunderstood as most people believe they’re the finishing touch when presenting any dish. However, they are the kissing cousins to leeks, scallions and onions (belonging to the lily family), and their flavor is subtle, unlike the sharp onions and scallions. Leeks are more delicate and less pungent, however, chives with their green flavor and subtle oniony undertone are utterly incomparable.
A last-minute sprinkling of savory chives intensifies the taste of any dish, taking it from good to umami in a manner of seconds. They create such a delicate aromatic connotation and with the color explosion of green sprinkles, your dish has just been served at a botanical garden wedding.
The variety of dishes that are flavor-augmented with sprinkled chives is mindboggling. Avocado crostinis are elevated and with chives. Any egg dish is a prime contender – from omelets, eggs-en-cocotte to Spanish huevos a la flamenca. Creamed soups become dashing with a peppering of chives. And of course, main courses and salads become vibrant and sublime with chives instead of the habitual parsley garnish.
SHRIMP MOUSSELINE CROSTINI
The perfect addition to any cocktail party. Instead of the typical protagonists of cream cheese, smoked salmon, dill and capers. The creamed goat cheese creates unimaginable depth, complimenting the shrimp mousse flawlessly. The chives add a slight oniony undertone, without overpowering it – the results are pretty darn spectacular! Try it also with a topping of smoked fish instead and your guests will definitely crash your next party!
Sliced baguette – toasted
½ LB of cooked shrimp
1 TBSP mayo
1 TBSP of melted butter
½ TBSP Worcestershire sauce
Creamed Chèvre cheese – room temperature – Goat brie is perfect for this
½ TSP of Kosher salt
Some fresh white cracked pepper or ½ TSP Aleppo pepper
Finely chopped chives
Toast the slices of baguette under the broiler till lightly golden being careful they don’t burn.
In a food processor, add the cooked shrimp, 1 TBSP of melted butter, 1 TSP of mayo, the Worcestershire sauce, salt and fresh cracked white pepper. Blitz till it becomes creamy but still retains consistency.
Spread the room temperature Chèvre on each slice. Dollop the shrimp mousseline on top and sprinkle with a generous amount of chives.
1 bunch of chives – finely chopped
1 TSP red wine vinegar
3 TBSP EVOO
1 TSP of Dijon Mustard
½ TSP Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Place all ingredients, save the oil, in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Emulsify the EVOO whisking in a steady stream.
CREAM OF ASPARAGUS
This delicate, yet full bodied soup is a total show stopped in flavor and elegant looks. Pair it with a Caprese salad and it becomes the perfect light summer meal.
1 bushel of green asparagus
1 bushel of white asparagus
1 large potato – peeled and cubed
2-3 shallots – finely chopped
1 TSP of butter
2 TBSP of olive oil
2-3 cups of low sodium chicken stock
¼ cup of sour cream or crème fraiche
1 TSP of kosher salt
1 large bay leaf
2 TBSP of finely chopped chives
Peel the stalk of the asparagus, discarding the woody ends and chop them into medium sized pieces. In a medium Dutch oven, melt the butter and the oil and sweat the shallots with a pinch of salt for about 4-5 minutes. Add the asparagus and sauté for a few minutes. Add the cubed potato, the bay leaf, 1 TSP of salt, some fresh cracked white pepper and the chicken stock. Cover the veggies with the stock but go easy on the liquid; you want the soup creamy but not overly watery.
Cook on low for about 30 minutes, covered until the veggies are tender. Allow to cool, remove the bay leaf, add the sour cream or crème fraiche and puree with an immersion blender till very smooth. Check for seasonings and serve at room temperature with a generous sprinkling of chives.
1 large cucumber – peeled and some of the seeds removed and sliced into rounds
2 TBSP of chopped chives
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP of very good quality EVOO
Pinch of salt
Fresh cracked white pepper
1 TBSP chopped pistachios
In a bowl mix the dressing – lemon juice, EVOO, salt and pepper. Lay the slices of cucumber on a plate. Drizzle the vinaigrette over and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and the chives.