Even without much encouragement from the sun, the chives are out there reaching for the sky, their bright green straws searching for a warm ray or two. Me too. Though I am happy to again be able to add the delicate tang of this smallest of the onion family to all manner of dishes on our table.
Not living near farms until recently, my introduction to chives was a spoonful of snippets on top of a glorious dab of sour cream melting into a flaky baked potato. It was years before I was sufficiently rash to just start throwing scoops of chives into salads, soups, eggs of any description, poultry, seafood and so on. Show me a food that can’t benefit from just such a taste booster. Speaking of pick-me-ups, a large handful of chives went into last week’s soufflé with delicious results. (Soufflés have an undeserved bad rep as being difficult. Actually, they are much easier if you simply accept it as chemistry.)
Humans and four-footed critters have been eating wild chives for 5,000 years wherever they are native, which includes Europe, Asia and North America. Europeans are known to have been cultivating them during the 5th C BC. Somewhere along in the 1800s, a few Dutch farmers fed their cows chives to create different tastes in the milk they produced. Wouldn’t you have thought they’d have tried apples or almonds first? One Marcus Valerius Martialis, a Roman poet famous for his Epigrams, wrote:
“He who bears chives on his breathe,
Is safe from being kissed to death.”
Leaving us to wonder whether he was such a strikingly handsome fellow or if perhaps he had an overly enthusiastic mother and aunts.
There are many natural combinations in the world of food, basil and tomatoes justly being one of the most famous. Another one is eggs and chives. We have offered previous recipes including chives that are available on the website: Sautéed Lion’s Mane Mushrooms, Linguine with Snow Peas and Chives in a Creamy Lemon Sauce, Fresh Crabmeat and Celeriac Salad with Chive Dressing and Creamy Parsnip and Leek Soup with Chives and Bacon. Today’s recipe is a toast to satisfying simplicity, a Chive Omelet, which just happens to be my favorite meal ever.