With beautiful, edible flowers and delicate onion-flavored foliage, chives are at home anywhere—even in the flower bed! But chives don’t have to be just a garnish on your baked potato. Chive blossom vinegar or chive-infused oil work deliciously in a salad dressing. Try cooking your morning eggs in chive oil for a subtle, yet scrumptious, onion flavor, or add chive vinegar to your potato salad recipe. Chives are so easy to grow because they require little maintenance, and they are perennial!
Chive-Infused Oil: Blend one bunch (10–15 stems) of chives with 1 cup of light oil like vegetable or grapeseed oil in a blender until puréed. Cook over medium-high heat in a saucepan for about 10 minutes. Cool and strain over two layers of cheesecloth overnight. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Chive-Blossom Vinegar: When ﬂower heads begin to fade from bright pink to a rosy color, harvest them for vinegar. Fill a glass jar loosely with ﬂower heads, then ﬁll with white vinegar. Put the lid on and place on a sunny windowsill. In 1 to 2 weeks, strain off ﬂowers. Dilute with more white vinegar if the chive taste is too strong.
We’ve recently discovered herb salts as savory, mouth-watering additions to recipes, and also as an ingenious way to prolong the life of fresh herbs. Salt preserves the herbs, and the herbs infuse the salts, making a flavor combo you can’t resist. Try herb salts on meats, roasted vegetables, popcorn, garlic bread, and even in your cocktails! With the holidays around the corner, you’ll want this new ingredient in your culinary arsenal.
3 cups loosely packed, fresh herbs
½ cup coarse salt
1. Wash and dry herbs thoroughly.
2. Either pulse herbs and salt in a food processor (careful not to create a paste), or finely chop herbs and salt together with a knife.
Store your herb salt in a glass jar in the fridge. Shake periodically over 7 to 10 days while flavors blend. Herb salts will last about 6 months or longer in the refrigerator.
Italian blend: Basil, oregano, parsley, and salt
Summer blend: Dill, parsley, and salt
Thanksgiving blend: Sage, thyme, parsley, and salt
Salsa blend: Cilantro and salt
Bloody Mary blend: Celery leaves and salt
As you can see, the possibilities are endless!
When your garden tomatoes get into high gear and start producing, start saucing! We used heirloom tomatoes in this recipe, creating more color and flavor diversity. We enjoy Black Krim, Brandywine, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Pineapple, and Oxheart, but any tomato will make delicious sauce.
5 lbs. fresh heirloom tomatoes
2 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup sweet peppers, finely chopped (like Italian Marconi)
1/8 cup mild to medium hot peppers, finely chopped (like Hungarian Wax – optional)
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. dried oregano leaf
1 1/2 tbs. honey, agave, or sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice or red wine vinegar
black pepper to taste
1.Using a paring knife, gently cut out the top of your tomatoes, where the stem was connected to the fruit.
2. Slit an “X” into the bottom of each tomato, and drop them into boiling water in batches. In about 60 to 90 seconds (larger tomatoes may take a bit longer), the skins will begin to wrinkle and split. Remove tomatoes and plunge into ice water, allowing them to soak for another 60 to 90 seconds. Remove from ice water and gently peel skins away from the tomato.
3. Using a blender or food processor, pulse the skinned tomatoes to the consistency that you prefer (chunky or smooth).
4. Pour the tomato sauce and the garlic and peppers in a saucepan. Bring to a low boil, adding remaining ingredients as it heats.
5. Reduce the sauce to almost half, stirring occasionally for about 45 minutes.
6. Allow your sauce to cool, and continue to thicken before using or freezing. Tomato sauce can stay fresh up to a week in the refrigerator or up to several months if frozen.
With spring here and summer just around the corner, we’re getting ready for outdoor brunches and barbeques. Dill can be whipped into a dressing for chicken salad served in croissants or pitas, or poured over fork-tender, boiled potatoes for a side dish at your next summer event. It’s (just about) the same recipe, too!
INGREDIENTS for chicken salad:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded chicken
INGREDIENTS for potato salad:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound fork-tender boiled fingerling potatoes
Whisk all the dressing ingredients until well blended. Stir in chicken or potatoes. Chill for about an hour to let flavors blend.
We often think of lavender only in lotion, oils or candles with its relaxing aroma, even though it’s also edible! You can easily substitute lavender for other herbs, especially rosemary, when flavoring sweet or savory dishes. We added lavender to three common kitchen staples—sugar, butter, and syrup—which you can then add to a multitude of recipes. Use lavender sugar in shortbread cookies for a floral surprise; lavender butter over roasted chicken for a pleasant, earthy flavor; or lavender syrup in lemonade or cocktails for a flowery taste of summer. You’ll be surprised how delicious the lavender from your garden can be!
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of dried lavender or 2 tablespoons fresh lavender
Mix the two ingredients together and seal in an airtight container for two days before using to ensure the flavors meld. Recipe can be doubled or tripled, depending on how much sugar you need.
Lavender and Herb Butter
¼ pound of butter (1 stick), softened
1 tablespoon of dried lavender
1 tablespoon of dried parsley
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
Mix all ingredients and chill in the fridge for a few hours. If you prefer, you can use almost any other dried herb, such as basil or chives.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon dried lavender or 2 tablespoons fresh lavender
Mix ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool for a few hours, strain, and pour into an airtight container. Syrup can be stored in the fridge for several weeks.
Any of our lavenders are perfect for these recipes!