How to Preserve Chives

The herbs were the only plants that did really well this year in my garden. Last weekend, I cleaned the garden out with the exception of the pineapple sage that is still giving me beautiful flowers that I can use in an arrangement.

I had quite a bit of chives that I decided to cut to the ground. Since this was my first year growing chives, I needed to figure out how to preserve them. Here are a few methods that I discovered in my search.

Chop and Flash Freeze

Lay the chopped chives in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to an airtight freezer container. You should be able to reach into the container with a spoon and scoop out chives as needed. If you don’t flash freeze first, your chives will freeze together in a big lump.

Chop and Place Teaspoonfuls or Tablespoonfuls in Ice Trays

Fill with water and freeze into cubes. Remove cubes and place in a container. Pull out cubes and throw into soups, stews, or thaw and drain to use in other dishes.

Oven Dry

Dry in a very cool oven (high temperatures will result in tasteless herbs). Turn the oven on to warm (140 to 200 F) (or 65 degrees C to 93 degrees C, gas mark 1) for 20 minutes, then turn it off and pop in the herbs. Keep in oven for two days – turn the oven on back on to warm 2 or 3 times each day. When completely dried out, crumble and store in an airtight container. (via Garden Web)

Make an Herbal Vinegar

First select the bottle or jar (clear is preferable) you will be using. Measure your chives against the length of the container and arrange your leaves in a fashion that allows them to be at staggered lengths at the top. Cut the bottoms straight across, so that the longest leaf is 3/4 of an inch shorter than the bottle length. Place approximately four to eight chive leaves (varying lengths) and one or two blossomed stems (one as tall as the longest leaf and one about half that size) upside down into a clean, sterilized bottle. Pour white distilled vinegar (from the bottle, untreated or heated) into the bottle. Seal with a cork or screw cap and then dip the top into hot melted paraffin wax to secure the seal.

These herbal vinegars can be used later over vegetables, over salads, as a meat marinade, or sprinkled over fish to be baked. (via Country Side Mag)

Any other ideas?

Image: Crystl