Cheerful Chives

Posted on May 01, 2012  /   Posted in Cheerful Chives!, Cheryl Dishes

I love the herbaceous perennial allium schoenoprasum or chives.  Their round, grass-like spears topped with bright purple bulbs are a cheerful harbinger of spring.  Chives will self-seed, and they grow abundantly and wild along the bank of our drive.  This mildest -flavored member of the onion family is a welcome addition to my cuisine, helping to perk up the last of the winter roots.

Harvest chives by cutting them with a set of shears, snipping the stalks into tiny pieces.

Their bright, delicate- onion flavor adds a new richness to our scrambled eggs.  Sprinkle them in salads and coleslaw, and toss them in potato salad.  Blend snipped chives with soft butter to garnish grilled meats and fish.  Mix them with cream cheese for a spread, add to yogurt, use them in salad dressings and on steamed vegetables.  The more I trim my chives, the more they seem to grow.

Spring Chive Soup is an easy recipe and this elegant soup may be served either hot or cold.  When chives are in bloom, sprinkle the blossoms on top of the soup.  Cream mushrooms with chives are a perfect match for a steak on the grill, and make a delicious supper on toast.

Add chives at the end of cooking, and heat for a brief period of time, or the flavor will be lost.  Chives, along with parsley, tarragon and chervil are what the French term fine herbes.  They are a good source of Vitamin A, and contain potassium and calcium.  Best of all, they cheerfully multiply and return,  year after year.

Spring Chive Soup

Cheryl Wixson
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Instructions
 

  • In a large heavy skillet melt the butter and sauté the mushrooms until the liquid they give off has evaporated and the mushrooms are browned, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, chicken or vegetable stock, and lemon juice and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the chives. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Notes

Nutritional analysis per serving:  191 calories, 4 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams fat, (0 grams trans fat), 41 mg. Sodium, 1 gram fiber

Creamed Mushrooms with Chives

Cheryl Wixson

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound mushrooms trimmed and quartered
  • 1 small onion chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Assemble ingredients and tools.
  • Chop the chives and set aside.
  • Clean the mushrooms, trim the stem, and cut them into rough quarters. Set aside. Peel and chop the onion.
  • In a large heavy skillet melt the butter until it starts to bubble. Add the quartered mushrooms.
  • Sauté the mushrooms until they give off their liquid.
  • Continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are lightly browned. The whole process will take 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the onions and sauté until they start to soften.
  • Add the cream, stock, and lemon juice and simmer the mushrooms until the juices are slightly thickened, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in the chives. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper. Makes four servings.

Notes

Nutritional analysis per serving: 195 calories, 2.5 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams fat, 25 mg. sodium, 4.5 grams fiber

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