Chives are in bloom in my Connecticut garden (zone 6a) which means it’s time to turn chive blossoms into chive vinegar.
Making chive vinegar is an annual ritual in my kitchen. I’ve saved a good collection of attractive glass jars to hold this homemade concoction. Chive vinegar preserves the delicate onion flavor and stunning lavender-pink color of chive flowers.
In early morning as the dew dries, snap close-to-fully-open chive blossoms from their stems. When you have enough to nearly fill your chosen container, simply drop the flowers into your clean glass jar, cover them with white vinegar, and set them on the kitchen counter out of direct sun. Yes, it’s that easy.
Choose containers with an opening wide enough for the chive flowers. My favorite glass containers are re-purposed Patron bottles.
In a few hours the color of the blossoms will infuse into the vinegar. The color of the vinegar depends on the shade of the blossoms – the more lavender blooms infuse a darker shade, the more pink flowers a lighter shade. The longer the blossoms soak, the stronger the flavor of the vinegar. But the chive flavor never becomes overpowering.
I’d give the blossoms at least two weeks to infuse before using the vinegar. Before use, strain the vinegar into a separate jar, then add the spent chive blossoms to the compost pile. I use the flavored vinegar in salad dressings, to baste chicken and other roasted meats (the vinegar helps keep meats tender and moist), and in many recipes calling for regular vinegar.
This vinegar infusion method works with garlic chive blossoms as well as leaves of rosemary, basil, thyme, sage and other herbs. But no other herb flower I’ve used imparts a more lovely color to the vinegar than chive flowers.