Chive Blossom Vinegar

Yesterday was quite a day. Highs and lows. It seems appropriate to now turn to a recipe that is sour and requires patience, but in the end transforms into something beautiful.

Hopefully you all read Marisa McClellan’s beautiful blog, Food in Jars. For those of us who like canning, it is a great resource. A while back she wrote about making chive blossom vinegar and I became totally enamored with the idea. Chive blossoms are a seriously awesome ingredient that need to be used more often. I like to pull the flower heads apart and use them as a garnish for savory foods, like an omelet or creamy soup. They have a delicate chive flavor and are so pretty. They make a meal feel special without being too fussy.

When I came across beautiful chive blossoms at Green City Market this past weekend, I bought them—but I wasn’t sure why. This is one of my biggest problems (not really), keeping track of recipes. I read so many every year and sometimes forget where they were. But embedded in my head was a detail: need lots of chive blossoms. By some sort of internet miracle, Marissa actually reminded her readers about that technique a couple of days after the blossoms landed in my fridge. I literally ran to my kitchen and threw together this small jar of blossoms and champagne vinegar.

All you do is take the flower heads off of the stem. Let the flowers soak in some cold water to get rid of any grit or small critters. I dried my blossoms in a salad spinner and then filled a jar about halfway full with them. Fill the jar with vinegar (you can use whatever vinegar you prefer, though I would pick something light so that it looks pretty) and then let them sit in a cool, dark place for a week or two. When you are ready to use it, strain the vinegar and transfer it to a clean jar. Imagine the fancy salads you’ll be eating all summer!

Thanks, Marisa, for this great idea. And thanks to all of you for continuing to be so rad. You make this fun.

42 comments to “Chive Blossom Vinegar”

  1. Those are seriously pretty!

  2. beautiful! and yesterdays post was too… so well put! Also have been loving Biden’s words these days as well…not to get so political on your blog..;)anyway- always love your food and words as well.

  3. chive blossoms and champagne vinegar — fairytale ingredients! i’ve seen these at the market before but never bought them. your suggestions for using in an omelet or soup are awesome too,

  4. Chive flowers are under appreciated – thanks for doing this post. I love them sprinkled over butter or on salads for a delicate ‘chivy’ flavor, but never thought of using them for vinegar. Thank you.

  5. Wow! What a fun, funky and darling idea! This is definitely right in time as the weather warms up everywhere especially here in Dubai! Wish we could get our hands on it though. Have only seen budding flowering chives but nothing in full bloom. Will ask my chef half about it because he has access to ingredients that mere mortal home cooks like me just swoon over! Champagne vinegar is quite special!

  6. Oh wow! So long ago I made this. I was just a teenager at my first real job and a co-worker who was all quirky and weird taught me so much about gardening, herbs and cooking. I learned so much from her and this is first time I have thought of her in years! Thanks for this.

  7. It certainly is a pretty vinegar. What sort of recipe would you use chive blossom vinegar for? I’ve never tried chive blossoms before.

  8. That is such a cool idea! I never would have thought of that. Love your blog!

  9. I’ve never tried chive blossoms. They are beautiful.
    I like @Marisa’s idea of using them with butter.

  10. I also love chive blossoms—this vinegar is too pretty, and as someone who just generally loves vinegar in general, the idea of mixing chive blossoms WITH vinegar is brilliant.

    Marisa’s blog is an amazing resource. Happy for her and excited for her book.

  11. miss alix- Chive blossoms have a very light chive flavor. The vinegar is great in vinaigrettes, you can skip the shallot because you’ll get onion-y flavor from the chives. You could use it in slaws, really anywhere you’d like a slightly chive-y vinegar flavor.

  12. this is insanely gorgeous! and all of my chives are totally blossoming at the moment, so this is just perfect!

  13. TIM!! This is wonderful. I don’t have much of a garden but what I do have is chives (and sage, have any great ideas for sage?) I’m so excited to go straight home and make this. Thanks for leading me to this idea.

  14. Your blog gets more beautiful every day—how do you do it? Thank you!

  15. Maria! Ashley! So sweet. Yes, I am so grateful to Marisa for this idea. It is one of those perfectly perfect things.

  16. I am envious of that jar! Hopefully my garden should provide me with lots of these chive flowers soon as I have planted tons. They are one of my faces. So, this will get done soon provided we get some sun here. Hasn’t shown itself for weeks now x

  17. I love the third sentence of this post. How apropos.

  18. This looks so lovely – I am going to try it soon.

    Your post yesterday was very much appreciated – thank you for sharing a beautiful picture from what must have been a beautiful day!

  19. …Love this! I have chives in blossom in the garden as we speak. :o)

    …And to yesterday’s post: Keep your chin up, stay strong, and keep the faith. It will come. Society is slow to wake up but it is happening and the day will come that when two people fall in love it won’t matter their gender, what will matter is their love. Period.

    …Thank you for the recipe & for being so rad yourself! ;o)

    …Blessings :o)

  20. Ooh, I’ve been meaning to try a batch of this–not least because we currently have a big patch of chives in full bloom! Must actually cut them soon. :)

  21. Anherblady says:

    May 10th, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Looks and sounds good! Wonder if the drained blossoms would be good broken up in a salad, like the fresh ones? Have to try. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes.

  22. As an aside, you might want to try Evernote. It works on Mac and PCs, and can sync between mobile devices and desktops. I use it to keep track of recipes, as well as a ton of other stuff. Thought you might like to know!

  23. Beautiful photographs Tim! I’ve never used chive blossoms before–how delicate are they? Do they hold up in the vinegar? I’m curious how fine a sieve you’d need to strain through after the 7-14 days. Thank you for sharing with us :) Isn’t it great to have a creative outlet to boost you through the highs and pick you up during the lows? Great post yesterday too. It’s people like you that give others hope :)

  24. Hey Molly- Thanks for the note. For flowers, chive blossoms are pretty sturdy. You just need a regular mesh strainer, no coffee filters or anything.

  25. Serendipity. I have a chive plant with blossoms, and I was just wondering what to do with them. This will be perfect.

  26. Love these photos! So springy. I’ll definitely have to pick up some chive blossoms next time at the market. (Forecast for rain AGAIN tomorrow… why?!)

  27. It’s beautiful and tasty too.

    Ironic that the Dems are convening in NC this year. If you know anyone that’s going maybe they should pack a lunch…and not leave a red cent behind in that benighted state.

  28. Caroline says:

    May 12th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I love chive blossoms! They make great pickles too if you pickle them when they are just buds before they bloom. Great addition to salads or bloody marys

  29. Tim. Been thinking about you and so many friends and family this week. One of the hardest things about getting married year before last was knowing that it was easy for us, and so difficult for our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters to enter into the same contract. It would be interesting, wouldn’t it, if the government was ONLY about the business of civil unions… for everyone; same or opposite sex. Leave marriage to individuals to define? Just a crazy idea.

    I’m heading out now to cut down my tall stand of gorgeous chive blossoms in your honor, for a good dunk in vinegar. We’ll think of you and Bryan, Sarah (daughter) and Alina, and Stewart (brother) and Michael every time we use it.

  30. I saw this on FiJ, too, and thought it a must-do. My chive blossoms are just starting to open, so probably later this week. With white wine or champagne vinegar. Have you ever tried making chive blossom tempura? Just a thought.

    Oh, and while I’m here: a belated congratulations on your blog award. Definitely had MY vote!

  31. This is utterly beautfiul. I’m so glad you posted this, because I’ve seen these at the farmer’s market and walked past them, now I can make chive blossom vinegar! I wish the chives I grow had such beautiful blossoms…. Great post.

  32. Hi Tim– I had the same problem keeping track of recipes, but I’ve recently started using Pinterest and it really, really helps. Almost impossible to lose track of anything!

  33. Oh my gosh, so glad you posted this! I just got chive blossoms from my CSA and didn’t know what to do with them, but now I do!

  34. Our vinegar is turning out wonderfully delicious. I used white balsamic, as that is what I had available. Even with just a 3 day soak, the liquid is a lovely deep pink, and made last night’s salad of mixed greens, strawberries and lots of snipped chives taste wonderful. As will all things good and true, it will only get better with time.

  35. so gorgeous. i cannot wait to see this in my kitchen.

  36. I love this idea… an easy step into food in jars so to speak. I want to can things but haven’t yet had the guts to do it. This could be the tipping point. :)
    On another note – I love Green City Market. Honestly, I can have a killer bad week and go and spend an hour there and it’s all washed away. I love the sounds, the smells, the people, dogs, children, chaos, colors, and buying too much to carry or eat in a week. It is seriously cheap therapy.

  37. KMR- It is a good first step. And I encourage you to start putting things up! Canning is the best thing that ever happened to me as a cook. It is so fun. And, I agree. I love Green City. Especially on Wednesday mornings very early when it is just chefs and the very devoted. I also encourage you to try Oak Park Farmers Market, which is my favorite (although I am partial, living down the street from it).

  38. Just got that canning book, and I’ve already made the blood orange marmalade, strawberry vanilla jam, garlic scape pickles, and pickled radishes and carrots. Amazing. And it makes you feel like a whiz kid in the kitchen–something that doesn’t always happen very often.

  39. My friend just made some of this for me. It is superb!!!

  40. Crazy Dutch Foodie says:

    July 14th, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    What a great idea; I have tons of these flowers in my garden every year and didn’t really know what to do with them. I deinitely gonna try this next year.

  41. I just want you to know that your blog is beautiful and inspiring. And also, I know we are in mid-June now, but I want you to know that there are actually a lot of people in North Carolina (regarding your previous post) who are equally disgusted with what went down in May. Keapdx commented and called us “benighted,” however, just because a few redneck a-holes can’t seem to get with the program, most of us are actually really pissed off at the ruling (even my Momma, who is a preacherwoman!) I hope this sad state of affairs, pun intended, doesn’t continue to get you down…at least you know one person in the Old North State who is fighting for you. :-)

  42. Hi. A friend just forwarded this recipe for me as something I could make for my wedding salad dressings (coming up in three weeks.) Very appropriate that your previous post was about marriage equality- we had an extremely hard time deciding whether we should get legally married because our gay friends and family members could not yet. For years we agreed we wouldn’t, but my Fiancé’s gay brother insisted we go legal (he’s a lawyer.). Our compromise is to be legally married in Washington (where we live and where gay marriage was approved his past winter) even though we are both from Idaho and having the ceremony there. We’re hoping to include some passages in the ceremony that will make it clear that we support marriage equality (any tips??) and hoping that our more conservative relatives will be inspired to join the good fight. Serving this choice blossom vinegar at our wedding will surely get them in the loving spirit, but I’d love to hear any suggestions you have for straight couples’ ceremonies. Happy cooking and canning!

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