Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Wisconsin Spring Gardens

Chive (Allium schoenoprasum L.)

Chives are one of the first signs of spring in Wisconsin. They peak their little green spires up through the last vestiges of snow. As the first warm days are welcomed by all of us, the little chive gladly imparts it’s freshness to spring dishes.

The subtle and pleasant taste of chives makes them an extremely popular food addition in Central and Western Europe. Fresh chives, finely chopped, are frequently sprinkled over soups and vegetable stews, and several sauces, especially such based on egg or yoghurt, greatly profit from chives. Boiling, frying or baking will, though, destroy most of chives' fine aroma.

I love to go out and just pick a few and nibble on them. Very soon they produce a very pretty purple flower. This can also be used in cooking. One of my favorite way to say spring in my home it to cut the flowers and place them in a fine crystal vase. It is incredible how long they stay fresh and make a pretty centerpiece for spring entertaining.

Try this delightful chive pesto the next time you are having company and impress the heck out of your guests.

Chive Pesto

  • In addition to making a great past sauce this pesto is wonderful over steamed red potatoes.

    2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh chives
    1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 medium garlic clove crushed
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1/2 cup best-quality extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
    Freshly ground black pepper

Place all of the ingredients except the cheese in a food processor or blender. Process until very finely chopped, but not pureed. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the cheese. Serve over hot pasta with freshly ground pepper and additional Parmesan.

Flavorfully Yours,


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