Chive flowers are beautiful, easy to grow, and they are a great food source for tiny pollinators, but I hate seeing the lavender-colored flowers just go to waste. So recently, I harvested chive flowers for my vinegar from the community garden I'm a part of and from a friend's edible parkway planting.
For this chive flower recipe I harvested 2 1/2 cups of chive blossoms to get a really rich hue. Remove as much of the green stems as possible for a subtle flavor for your vinegar.
Toss your chive flowers into a bowl of cool water, swish them around to remove dust and any tiny bugs. Let any garden debris settle at the bottom and scoop out your blossoms. Place them in a colander and give it a few shakes to remove any excess water. Or, put all the blooms in a salad spinner if you own one and give it a few spins. Place them in your canning jar.
Pour 1 1/2 cups of white wine vinegar into a sauce pan and warm it up over a low heat. NOTE: You are not looking to bring the vinegar to a boil. We are just warming it up ever so slightly; remove from heat if you start to see bubbles.
Pour the warm white wine vinegar over the chive flowers in your canning jar. If you have any blooms that are not submerged in the vinegar, you can push them down with a spoon or other utensil.
After the vinegar has cooled down (you'll notice there's no steam condensing on the inside of your canning jar) you can place your lid on your jar. I used a canning jar that is taller than I needed because I didn't want the vinegar or the blooms to touch the lid and start to rust and ruin my chive flower vinegar. But if you have glass canning jar lids you can use them, or place a piece of parchment paper over the jar's mouth before screwing on your lid.
Now place your tightly closed jar of chive flowers steeping in white wine vinegar in a cool and dark place for anywhere between 1-2 weeks. Yes, it seems like a long time, but the longer the blooms steep the more of their flavor they will impart on the vinegar.
You may notice at this point that there is more debris at the bottom of your jar. That's OK. After you have left your flowers to steep to your preferred flavor strength, pour out the content into a fine sieve to filter out any debris, chive stems, and spent flowers. Now you can pour your chive flower vinegar into a glass bottle or container (that has been sterilized) and enjoy it wherever you want to add vinegar that has a nice chive flower profile.
Making your own chive flower vinegar is really easy, and is a good way to preserve the taste of spring in your garden. Have more chive flowers than you know what to do with? Break the blossoms apart and add them to soups, salads, and sandwiches where you want to add a light chive taste.
What's your favorite way to use chives you grow in your garden?