Chives - Allium schoenoprasum
A member of the Onion family , Chives - Allium schoenoprasum’ are a small clump forming perennial with slender bulbs. Chives are tolerant concerning soil and position, although they thrive in rich moist soil. Can be grown from seed, but are more easily split in the autumn. Although chives die back in the winter, they can be encouraged to continue growing if planted in a warm sunny spot.
The culinary delights were first reported to the west by the explorer Marco Polo, although they had been used in China some 5000 year earlier. Chives also have a number of uses in the garden as companion plants, where they prevent scab when planted next to apple trees and black spot next to roses.
Chives are especially good with potatoes and eggs. The mild onion flavoured leaves can be added to salads, omelettes and soft cheese. When cooking with chives, they are always better to be added at the end of cooking, or they tend to lose their flavour.
Add 4 tablespoons of chives to softened butter and mix well. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and season to taste. The butter can be rolled and sliced and put in the freezer to add to jacket potatoes. Omelettes and scrambled eggs.