Saturday, March 20, 2010

The First Harbinger of Spring, Chive Sprigs (Allium schoenoprasum)



Today is the first calendar day of spring. Seemingly, nothing better announces the end of winter than the sight of sprightly chives. Their bright green grass–like appearance is the very first harbinger of the long awaited season. Chives become the guest of honor at Rites of Spring soirées. Their finely cut leaves enhance cheese spreads being served on a Tom Cat baguette with a goblet of Pinot Gris. When swirled into a Vermont cheddar cheese omelet, they add pizzazz to a brunch — especially if there are flutes of champagne to drink with it.

Additionally, chives are often added to Vichyssoise, another soirée favorite. The thin wispy leaves of chives can be used to make a flavored ribbon when tying bunches of raw veggies such as carrots. If they are not being grown for harvesting, beautiful and long–lasting lilac–colored flowers develop at their spears! These make elegant centerpieces and when tied into a bouquet with strands of chives, they make a unique hostess gift.

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