A few garlic chive blossoms, some vinegar, and a little time can provide you this amazing Garlic Chive Blossom Vinegar! Garlic chives are to late summer what their purple cousins are to the springtime. The leaves are broad and flat with a distinctive garlicky flavor. True to the reputation of the chive, it also is less intense.
It’s great in vinaigrette or to give as gifts!
Garlic Chive Vinegar
Another Way to Preserve the Harvest
As the summer heat begins to slowly fade and I watch the last of so many of my herbs becoming spent for the summer, I notice the big balls of white flowers of the garlic chive. I want to hold on to the flavors of my fresh herbs as long as I can.
Vinegars are so easy to make! They are nutritious and good for you! And the Herb Society of America rates chives as easy to grow.
What is the difference between chives and garlic chives?
The most commonly grown chive, common chives (Allium schoenoprasum) thrives in zones 1 through 24. (like ANY where) Its leaves look like grass, but are really (like onion, which is why they are often called onion chives!) hollow tubes and, when crushed, produce a gentle onion-like flavor and scent. Spring brings clusters of light purple flowers, which can also be used in the kitchen. This is a photo of my onion chive…
The white flowers of garlic chives (Allium tuberosum), which I mentioned appear in late summer, when crushed emits the smell of garlic. The garlic chive (also called Chinese chives because they use the budding flowers, often added to stir fry) also thrives in zones 1 through 24, but be WARNED! you’d be wise to deadhead the spent flowers of garlic chives because their seeds can self-sow well (and to some, quite invasively… ask me how I know!)
Now that I am the proud owner of these garlic chives, (they came with the farm) I often wonder why garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) are not as commonly grown as regular chives (Allium schoenoprasum). They are hardy perennials and just as easy to grow. Like regular chives, they can spread and become too much of a good thing. But more likely, they’re just less familiar and slower to creep into our kitchens. Here is the garlic chive….
Both plants grow in grass-like clumps, but while the common chive foliage is tube-shaped and grass-green, a garlic chive is a flat, blue-green blade. And its flavor is more garlicky than oniony, though not as strong or harsh as a raw clove of real garlic. Snip the leaves just as you would chives, as a seasoning and as a garnish, but be more liberal with them. These are larger, more robust plants, more vegetable than herb. They are super great on baked potatoes.
Garlic Chive Vinegar can not only be used to accent garden salads, but to jazz up pasta or potato salads. The Greeks often splash vinegar in some of their soups to add a bit of pizazz, envision what an herb infused vinegar could add to some soups and sauces (think lamb!). Try it as a delish marinade too.
Garlic Chive Vinegar Recipe
- 4 cups cider vinegar
- several stalks fresh garlic chives
- 2 small cloves garlic, peeled (optional)
- Using a stainless steel or enameled saucepan bring vinegar to a simmer.
- Pour into a sterilized quart bottle/jar.
- Add chives and garlic.
- Store vinegar in a cool, dark place at least 2 weeks before serving.
- Before bringing it on, strain and add fresh herbs.