|twisted stems of unicorn chives|
Allium schoenoprasum or Chives is today’s Herb of the Week.
(I seem to have lost the ability to use a calendar, so I am sorry that the herb of the week has not been on Wednesday for a bit, we have corrected the problem!)
Leaves can be harvested after established plants are 6 inches tall. To harvest, simply cut the leaves 2 inches above the ground. Usually, in home gardens or small herb operations, all the leaves of a clump of plants are not cut off at one time. This allows that same clump of plants to be cut over and over again throughout the growing season. All plants should be cut regularly to encourage new bulblets to develop, to prevent leaves from becoming tough.
The medicinal properties of chives are similar to those of garlic, but weaker; the faint effects in comparison with garlic are probably the main reason for their limited use as a medicinal herb. Containing numerous sulfide compounds, chives are reported to have a beneficial effect on the circulatory system. They also have mild stimulant and diuretic and antiseptic properties. As chives are usually served in small amounts and never as the main dish, negative effects are rarely encountered, although just like all onions digestive problems may occur following over-consumption.
This dip is a wonderful accompaniment to fresh raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and radishes.
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh chives, snipped with scissors
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt or garlic salt to taste (optional)
In a medium sized mixing bowl mix add all ingredients and mix well. Let chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator before using to allow all the flavors to meld together.
Serves up to 12
Turnips and herbed cheese add an extra layer of flavor to these sour cream and chive mashers.
4 pounds starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 pound turnips or celery root or parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/3 cups cream cheese or goat cheese (even better is you mix some Backyard Patch Boursin Blend into the cheese)
1 cup sour cream
Milk, for mashing
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chives, finely chopped
Boil the potatoes and turnips until tender. Drain and place back into the hot pot. Add the cheese and sour cream to the pot and mash, adding just enough milk to loosen to your preference. Add salt, pepper and chives and taste to adjust the seasonings.