08/21/04Chives (Allium)

All you need to know about chives
Lauren Bonar Swezey

Green, grasslike, 12- to 24-inch-long spears form in clumps. Clusters of rose purple or white flowers in spring. Perennial.

BEST CULINARY VARIETIES: Chives (A. schoenoprasum); all zones. Chinese or garlic chives (A. tuberosum); zones 1-24, H1-H2.

GROWING TIP: Increase the number of plants by dividing in winter every two years or so.

HARVEST TIP: Gather chives by snipping the spears to the ground (otherwise you'll have unsightly brown foliage mixed in with the green).

USES: Butters, cheeses, eggs, lamb, mayonnaise, potatoes, rice, salads, sauces, seafood, soups, sour cream, stews, and vegetables.