Homemade Chive Blossom Vinegar

DSC_0281Beautiful pink color after only one night of the chive blossoms infusing the vinegar.

I am ecstatic over the abundance of chives my garden has produced this year!  I can’t really take credit, as the chives keep dropping their seeds and doubling the size.  If you plant chives and have a small space, it’s best to cut the blossoms off after their beautiful summer flower show has passed.  My chive garden literally doubled from last year.

Here in Halifax, chives blossoms bloom late may to mid June.  You can start using the chives as soon as they come up from the ground.  The stems, and even the unopened flowering bulb can be chopped and used in dishes.  Chives can lift the flavour of many dishes.  Once they are up from the ground in spring, I am constantly grabbing a handful of these sleek green stems for potato dishes, gravies, salads, soups, savoury waffles and pancakes, sandwiches, and sauces.

I also use chives in recipes where I want a mild onion flavour.  When my children were young and didn’t think they liked onions, I would use chives in place of onions in things like burgers, where the onion may not completely soften before the burger is finished on the grill.    DSC_0088Chives, a perennial herb that is part of the Allium species which includes green onions, and garlic .  Allium are said to have health-giving properties.  The stronger their smell the more effective the suggested healing powers are.  Chives are mainly grown for the scape (stems) however, they are important in gardens as they help repel unwanted insects and their flowers attract bees.  I am sure I don’t need to tell you how important our bees are.DSC_0101I just loved watching this little guy working away in the early morning sun.   What a life collecting nectar to take back to his hive to turn into honey.

I love chive blossom vinegar not only for its beautiful pink hue, but for the light onion flavor it infuses.  Lately, I am making all of my vinaigrette for salads, oil free.  Infused vinegar is wonderful for implementing lots of flavour into a dish, and this one doesn’t disappoint.  I have added one of my favourite oil-free vinaigrettes at the bottom of  this post.  I listed raspberries in the ingredients, but you definitely need to make it again with oranges, blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries are amazing in this recipe as well.13521943_476964715841110_7210543810576183759_n

Chive Blossom vinegar is so easy to make, it’s hard to call this a recipe.  It’s requires 2 ingredients, chive blossoms, and vinegar.  If you want to impart a stronger chive flavour, you can add chive stems to the jars as well,  however I like to finely chop the stems and freeze to have a supply year round.

If your chive blossoms have already gone to seed (dried out and no longer pink) you can still make chive vinegar.  You will need to use the stems in place of the blossoms.  You will not make a pink hued vinegar, however, it will be equally wonderful in taste and aroma.

To make the chive blossom vinegar, you will need a glass jar, or container, water for cleaning the chives, and although optional, I have found that a salad spinner really makes the process go faster.  If you don’t have a salad spinner, you don’t need to go buy one.  All you will need to do is let your chives slightly dry on paper towel or a clean tea towel before adding to the container.  Once the vinegar has been infused for a couple of weeks all the color will be drained from the blossoms.  You will now need to strain the vinegar through a fine sieve, or cheesecloth.DSC_0255_2

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Chive Blossom Vinegar

  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • Enough chive blossoms to fill to at least half of the container being used. Or chive stems can be used but will not yield the pink hue.
  • Vinegar -Enough to top up the jar you are using after you add the blossoms.  I like white wine or champagne vinegar, white balsamic, *apple cider vinegar (*your pink will have a slightly different hue).
  • If you have a 500ml mason jar, you will need at least 1 cup of chive blossoms, and 1.5-2 cups of vinegar to fill the jar.

You can use any kind you have on hand or like to use with your vinaigrettes.  I have also mixed half white wine vinegar with half apple cider vinegar, and half white wine vinegar, with half regular white vinegar.  They all turned out wonderful.

  1. Place the chive blossoms in a sink full of cold water.  This helps remove any thing you might not want in your vinegar.
  2. Drain the chives and place in the salad spinner and spin excess water out.  If you don’t have a salad spinner place the chive blossoms on a clean tea towel or paper towel and let air dry for an hour or two.
  3. I fill the container to the top with chives.  *At a minimum the chives with need to come up to the halfway point of your container.  This way you make sure that you will get enough infused chives flavour and color.
  4. Pour the vinegar to the top of your jar and place the cover on and place in a cool place for 1.5 -2 weeks to allow the flavours to infuse.  You do not need to boil or heat the vinegar.
  5. After the color has drained from the flowers and the vinegar has a beautiful pink hue, strain the vinegar through a fine mesh sieve, or a few layers of cheesecloth.
  6. Place into a beautiful container of your choice.  I like to store in jars with a plastic, glass or rubber lid/cover. (swing top lid)  Metal lids can rust over time when exposed to vinegar.  This will leave a terrible taste in your rusty metallic taste and smell to your  vinegar if it were to happen.

DSC_0241The chives will look a little beat up after the “spin cycle”.  That’s normal

DSC_0275_2If you have a wide mouth funnel, it does make filling lots of jars easier.  I am making large batches for gifts.  DSC_0276_2

You can see a pink hue when held up to the sun in just a few hours. DSC_0309Take this to the summer bbq your are invited to as a hostess gift

Try splashing a bit of this vinegar over homemade french fries, and a pinch of sea salt.. Serious, yum!

Raspberry Chive Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 5mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1/4 cup chive vinegar,
  • 1/4 cup raspberry puree*
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup, honey, or date puree,
  • pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped chive stems if you like.

Add all the ingredients but the chives into a blender  and puree into a vinaigrette.

*If you don’t want the raspberry seeds puree first and then strain through a fine sieve first.

Pour this vinaigrette over a bed of greens, topped with red onions, nuts, sliced fruit, mushrooms, and a few croutons.  Talk about burst in your mouth flavour and oh so good for you!  I have even added chilled pasta to this salad.  Double yum!

Of course add any veggie and fruit you prefer and change this dressing up.  DSC_0090

 

 

 

 

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