Great ingredients make for great meals. Whenever you can, use the highest quality supplies for your recipes. The flavor difference will always come through in your finished dish.
If there is an ingredient that you are not familiar with, check our Ingredient section. There are pages and pages of information about the ingredients used in my recipes.
My friend Denise Pearson loves chives, especially in potato recipes. I have watched her use both the stems and flowers for lovely garnishes.
They are a member of the onion and leek family and grow easily in the garden. They are perennial and my chive plants have been growing for years. Most gardening books recommend breaking up the plant every few years into two or three plants. The long, slim grass-like stems are actually the stalk for a pretty lavender flower. Both the stem and the flower are edible but it is the stem that are called for in recipes.
Chives have a delicate onion flavor. Choose ones that are bright green with firm stems. Reject any that are limp or wilted. When used in dressings they hold up fairly well, but it is the chives that limit the shelf life to no more than a week. If you are going to cook with chives, add them near the end of the dish as they lose their flavor when heated for very long.
Both dried, bottled chives and frozen, freeze dried chives are available and can work in a pinch, but fresh ones are so widely available I don't keep either of these in my freezer/pantry.
Chef Tim Says... What is a Vinaigrette?
I love a good salad dressing and especially a great vinaigrette. So simple, yet so complex. The rich combination of silky oil with tart vinegar, flavorings and herbs is incomparable.