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Delicate and Delightful Chives

Some of the most amazing herb gardens are ones that include chives along with other staple herbs. Chives are those long thin hollow green leaves that are usually packaged and sold in produce sections. It is the smallest member of the onion family with a delicate onion-like flavor. When the leaves remain untouched, they can grow lavender flowers that are edible, although chives are usually grown and sold for their hollow green leaves. There's also the flat-leafed Chinese variety that are sold at specialty markets, but tastes more like garlic and are sometimes topped with white edible flowers.

Chives can be sold fresh or freeze-dried. The freeze-dried variety offers the best color and flavor, and can be added into cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise or yoghurt when making flavorful dips, dressings or sauces. If you are cooking with the dried version then it is best to add them toward the end of the cooking process. You can use fresh chives in much the same way as the dried herb by chopping them into small pieces or snipping them with a pair of scissors and then adding them to the recipe. I bet most people are familiar with chives as a topping for baked potatoes. I love them mixed in with scrambled eggs or fluffy omelets.

Lighter foods, such as fish or vegetables are a perfect showcase for this vivid green herb with its aromatic fragrance. Chives are also one of the indispensable herbs in French cooking; it is combined with chervil, parsley and tarragon in making French Fines Herbes, which is the classic French herb mixture for making eggs, poultry and fish dishes.

Did I mention that chives are a great source of vitamin A? Whether you grow them in your own herb garden or buy them at the store or online, this wonderful little herb can dress up any dish and add great flavor. And do remember, that a little goes a long ways.

The following is an easy recipe for salad dressing using chives - enjoy!

Simple Salad Dressing - click link.