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The Perfect Companions: Chives and Their Companion Herbs

chives companion herbs

When it comes to cooking with fresh herbs, chives are a staple in many kitchens. These delicate green shoots add a subtle onion flavor to dishes and garnishes, making them a versatile addition to any recipe. But did you know that chives also have companion herbs that can enhance their flavor and make them even more delicious? In this article, we'll explore the world of chives and their perfect companions.

Chives Companion Herbs

Chives are a member of the allium family, which includes onions, garlic, and leeks. They thrive in cooler temperatures and are easy to grow, making them a popular choice for home gardeners. When it comes to companion herbs, chives pair well with other members of the allium family, as well as herbs that have complementary flavors. Here are some of the best herbs to pair with chives:

Parsley

Parsley is a classic herb that pairs perfectly with chives. It has a bright, fresh flavor that complements the mild onion taste of chives. Parsley is also rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any dish. Try adding chopped parsley and chives to scrambled eggs or a potato salad for a burst of flavor.

Tarragon

Tarragon is another herb that pairs well with chives. It has a slightly sweet and anise-like flavor that works well with the mild onion taste of chives. Tarragon is also known for its digestive properties and is often used in French cuisine. Try making a compound butter with tarragon and chives to add flavor to grilled steak or fish.

Thyme

Thyme is a versatile herb that pairs well with many other herbs, including chives. It has a subtle lemony flavor that complements the mild onion taste of chives. Thyme is also known for its antibacterial properties and is often used in Mediterranean cuisine. Try making a simple vinaigrette with thyme, chives, and olive oil for a fresh and flavorful salad dressing.

Mint

Mint is a refreshing herb that pairs surprisingly well with chives. It has a cool, sweet flavor that can balance out the mild onion taste of chives. Mint is also known for its digestive properties and is often used in Middle Eastern cuisine. Try adding chopped mint and chives to a cucumber salad for a refreshing summer side dish.

How to Grow Chives and Their Companion Herbs

If you're interested in growing your own chives and their companion herbs, they're relatively easy to cultivate. Here are some tips for growing chives and their companions:

Chives

Chives prefer cooler temperatures and well-draining soil. They can be planted in pots or directly in the ground, and they will thrive in full sun or partial shade. Chives are perennials, which means they will come back year after year. To harvest chives, wait until they are at least six inches tall and then snip off the tops with scissors. Chives can be used fresh or frozen for later use.

Parsley

Parsley prefers well-draining soil and partial shade. It can be planted in pots or directly in the ground, and it will thrive in full sun or partial shade. Parsley is an annual, which means it will need to be replanted each year. To harvest parsley, wait until the leaves are at least six inches long and then snip off the tops with scissors. Parsley can be used fresh or dried for later use.

Tarragon

Tarragon prefers well-draining soil and full sun. It can be planted in pots or directly in the ground, and it will thrive in full sun. Tarragon is a perennial, which means it will come back year after year. To harvest tarragon, wait until the plant is at least six inches tall and then snip off the tops with scissors. Tarragon can be used fresh or dried for later use.

Thyme

Thyme prefers well-draining soil and full sun. It can be planted in pots or directly in the ground, and it will thrive in full sun. Thyme is a perennial, which means it will come back year after year. To harvest thyme, wait until the plant is at least six inches tall and then snip off the tops with scissors. Thyme can be used fresh or dried for later use.

Mint

Mint prefers moist, well-draining soil and partial shade. It can be planted in pots or directly in the ground, and it will thrive in partial shade. Mint is a perennial, which means it will come back year after year. To harvest mint, wait until the plant is at least six inches tall and then snip off the tops with scissors. Mint can be used fresh or dried for later use.

Recipes Using Chives and Their Companion Herbs

Now that you know all about chives and their perfect companions, it's time to cooking! Here are some recipes that use chives and their companion herbs:

Chive and Parsley Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Line a pie dish with the pie crust.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
  4. Stir in the chives, parsley, and cheese.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the quiche is set.

Tarragon and Chive Compound Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, tarragon, and chives.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Transfer the butter to a sheet of plastic wrap.
  4. Roll the butter into a log shape.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Slice the butter into rounds and use as desired.

Thyme and Chive Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry.
  3. Rub the chicken with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle the thyme, chives, salt, and pepper over the chicken.
  5. Roast the chicken for 60-75 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
  6. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Chives are a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes, from scrambled eggs to potato salad. By pairing chives with complementary herbs, you can enhance their flavor and create delicious new recipes. Whether you're growing your own herbs or buying them at the grocery store, be sure to try some of these chive companion herbs in your next meal.

FAQs

1. Can I freeze chives?

Yes, you can freeze chopped chives in an airtight container for up to six months.

2. What are some other members of the allium family?

Other members of the allium family include onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, and scallions.

3. How do I know when my chives are ready to harvest?

Wait until your chives are at least six inches tall before harvesting the tops with scissors.

4. Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh?

Yes, you can use dried herbs instead of fresh, but be aware that the flavor may not be as strong.

5. What is a compound butter?

A compound butter is butter that has been mixed with herbs, spices, or other flavorings. It is often used to add flavor to grilled meats or vegetables.

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