Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring Jive with the Chive!!!!! Or, first foraged dish of the year

Here is another post by
Renee M. Ergazos 

First foraged dish of the year

Although the snow in our woods had been melted for less than a week and more snow was in the forecast, I found the earliest of edible greens: chives.

I'm happy just to find the first curls of skunk cabbage poking through the snow, but chives quickly follow in early spring and are a versatile, fresh ingredient. Chives can be found in woods and lawns throughout spring but will become hot and bitter as the weather warms. 

Once the plant flowers, the chives become too strong to use as anything other than a garnish (potatoes, deviled eggs, soups). 

We were clearing brambles, bonfire roaring, Townes Van Zandt on outside speaker, and English Ale pouring -- all before noon -- on the 77 degree day. I made a snack plate with chive pesto and Mark's homemade bread as the accompaniment.  The pesto was mild and flavorful, not what I expected from eating spoonfuls of finely chopped fresh chives. 

I made a second batch the next day for a party and replaced a few ingredients based on what was available in my friend's kitchen.


This follows a basic pesto approach:

= process herb (chives), olive oil, and salt in food processor to desired texture. 

= I also add a squeeze of lemon, sundried tomatoes, some crunch (almonds first batch, pistachios second batch and pistachios worked better than the almonds), and some additional fresh herbs/greens (parsley for the first batch, red chard second batch).

=I did not add fresh garlic or parmesan. 


Sunday morning, I had a handful of clean chives still in a towel on the cutting board, so cheesey, chivey scrambled eggs had to happen.

Easter dinner will have deviled eggs and chilled beet soup, garnished with fresh chives; I might even sneak some in the pirohy (pierogis).