Chives – Allium schoenoprasum
Chives are a very common herb found in most herb gardens. They are easy to grow and happily seed themselves around the garden. They grow in grass-like clusters about 10 inches high, have hollow stems, and prolific purple flowers that begin to bloom in late May and early June.
Chives are in the onion family. Their leaves have a mild onion flavor, and go beautifully in any savory dish, either raw or cooked. Used them to garnish soups, gravies, dips, and baked potatoes. Their beautiful spike-petaled flowers are also edible, and liven up and add color to salads.
Chives are easily chopped and dried in a dehydrator, or, even easier than that, chop and freeze them. They keep very well this way, and can be used all winter long to add a bit of fresh flavor to winter dishes.
Plants in the onion family are rich in minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium) and vitamins (A, C, thiamine, and niacin) and are a basic nourishing food for the body. In the Orient, they are used as a remedy for colds, flus, and chest congestion.