Chive Blossoms

Chive Blossom Vinegar taught me to love infusions beautifully dress salads. Get vinegar and salad recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
We recently had a friend over for dinner and somehow ended up talking about vinegar. Well, not just talking—I was soon pulling an array of vinegars from a shelf in my tiny kitchen and explaining why I have so many, how this is just the daily stash, where I store gallon jugs for pickling and canning, and how we had unexpectedly found a mother in one jug that I was using to start my own vinegar. I may have been a little excited.

You could say that the tang of vinegar is my jam. My pantry collection typically numbers 7 bottles, which I put into everything from drinks to mac and cheese to pie crust. But because I like to mix and match flavors and keep many herbs and spices on hand, I only saw the point of infusing vinegars after I discovered a chive blossom infusion in Harry Rosenblum’s Vinegar Revival. It’s so easy to make that my recipe varies little from his instructions, but my first attempt, and probably favorite flavor, used garlic chives. The resulting flavored vinegar beautifully dresses a salad featuring fresh spring herbs.

Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
You need just 2 ingredients.
1. Pack whole chive blossoms in a jar.
2. Pour in vinegar until the jar is full.
3. Wait a few days and enjoy.

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Chive Blossom Vinegar

  • Servings: 1 pint
  • Difficulty: 1
  • Print
about 20 fresh chive blossoms or 8 garlic chive blossoms
1-3/4 cup white wine vinegar

Harvest the flowers from chives or garlic chives, shaking them gently to remove any insects. Place the whole blossoms in a clean glass pint jar with a tight-fitting lid and pour the vinegar over them, covering the blossoms but leaving about 1 inch of headspace. Screw on a plastic storage lid and let the jar stand at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Strain out the pickled flowers, saving them for the week’s meals (see below). Pour the vinegar into a clean glass jar or bottle and seal it with a lid; label and date the jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Makes about 1 pint.

Tips & Tricks
  • I find shaking releases any ants or other bugs from dry blossoms, but if you harvest wet ones or are concerned about critters, give them several dunks in a bowl of water and then spread them on a clean tea towel to dry before infusing. It goes without saying that you should pluck blooms from organic chives.
  • I use white wine vinegar, but Champagne vinegar or rice vinegar are also good options. Garlic chives won’t alter the vinegar’s color, so you could use red wine vinegar for a garlicy batch. The acidity of your vinegar has little effect: you aren’t diluting it with water, and you aren’t canning a shelf-stable jar.
  • Chive vinegar is a bit like a Goldilocks story. You’ll see a significant color change within the first 24 hours, but the flavor will be too subtle. Let the infusion sit for 2 weeks, and the flavor will be strong but the pickled blossoms will be mush. I agree with Brooklyn Kitchen founder Harry Rosenblum: 5 days is just right.
  • I prefer to eat the pickled flowerheads of chives raw in salads and to sauté the larger, tougher ones from garlic chives. Toss them with Glazed Carrots for a sweet-and-sour twist, or add them to a Fresh Improv Stir-Fry. When minced, they fold easily into Mashed Potatoes with Yogurt Whey.


Chive Blossom Vinegar taught me to love infusions beautifully dress salads. Get vinegar and salad recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.

Twice as Tasty

Chive Blossom Vinegar taught me to love infusions beautifully dress salads. Get vinegar and salad recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.Chive blossom vinegar can stand in for just about any vinegar in any recipe that wants a hint of onion or garlic. I’ve mixed mine into cocktails and splashed it into soup. Rosenblum stirs his into mashed potatoes; it works just as well for Braised Breakfast Potatoes.

The most obvious use for chive-infused vinegar may be in salad dressing. Use it as a vinegary base for an instant flavor upgrade to a basic green salad. Or pile on the tangy flavors by adding other pickles—even the chive blossoms you used to infuse the vinegar—to a hearty salad featuring potato, pasta, or the beans shared here. You can offset the vinegar’s zing by showing off your homemade cheese and condiments.

Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
You need just 3 main ingredients plus herbs and kitchen staples for the dressing.
1. Add the dressing ingredients to a jar and shake.
2. Heat the beans, tossing them in the dressing.
3. Layer the spinach, cheese, and beans into a salad and enjoy.

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Herbed Bean Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

  • Servings: 2–3
  • Difficulty: 1
  • Print
3 tablespoons Chive Blossom Vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Spicy German-Style Mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Pickled Nasturtium Seeds or capers (optional)
2 tablespoons onion tops or scallion greens, sliced
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
16 ounces cooked cannellini beans (or 1 15-ounce can), drained
2 tablespoons water
4–8 ounces spinach, coarsely chopped
4 ounces Quick Homemade Mozzarella, sliced
pickled chive blossoms from Chive Blossom Vinegar (optional)

Combine the vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small jar; screw on the lid and shake briskly until the salt dissolves. Add the oil, reseal, and shake again until the ingredients combine. Add the capers, onion greens, parsley, and tarragon; reseal and shake again to distribute evenly.

In a large sauté pan, heat the beans in the water over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, until hot; add another splash of water if they start to stick. Add the herb dressing and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Add a layer of spinach to each bowl. Top with a layer of mozzarella slices, torn into pieces if large, and then a portion of beans. Garnish with pickled chive blossoms if desired. Serve immediately. Serves 2–3.

Tips & Tricks
  • The only potentially challenging thing about this recipe is keeping its homemade ingredients on hand. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything; by substituting in store-bought ingredients as needed, you’ll appreciate your homemade ones even more next time.
  • For beans, borlotti, with their cranberry specks, make a pretty plate, and even garbanzo beans or black-eyed peas work well. Use dried beans when you’re thinking ahead, or seek out the lowest-sodium, unflavored canned ones on the shelf.
  • In summer, dill and basil can be substituted for tarragon. Swap in slivered chard leaves or torn and massaged kale once your spinach bolts. Expand the salad with thinly sliced bell pepper or fennel.
  • I like this dish as a warm salad; the warmed beans pick up the dressing beautifully, the cheese melts slightly, and the spinach just starts to wilt. If you plan to serve it cold, don’t worry about warming the beans, but consider cutting or tearing the spinach and cheese into smaller pieces.


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