Make delicious chive flower vinegar, that livens up summer salads or root vegetables, with this easy how-to guide.
Is there anything better than bottling the taste of summer to enjoy later in the year? Come winter, when summer feels like a far and distant memory, and the thought of next summer feels light-years away, just the simple taste of something summery can be like a portal to another dimension.
I dry mint leaves and dry lemon balm leaves for tea, and any other herbs I can get my hands on. I think I get a kick more out of preserving summer flavours than I do the actual gardening. There’s also something so deeply satisfying about a shelf full of home-dried herbs and bottles of homemade vinegar. Nothing shop-bought can ever really compete.
Fresh chives are one of my most favoured herbs. They’re so versatile and lend such a delicate flavour to so many recipes. Whilst most people think you can only eat the chive blades, in fact, the chive flowers are edible too. The flowers have a more oniony taste and the fresh petals make a delicious peppery addition to any salad.
When it comes to preserving chive flowers, you can dry them to enjoy later in salads. But my favourite thing to do whilst chive flowers are at their best, is to pickle them in vinegar. The result is a vibrant-pink chive flower vinegar, that has a mild onion flavour. This is absolutely delicious drizzled on summer salads, or on thinly-sliced raw root vegetables in winter.
How To Make Chive Flower Vinegar
The good news is that is incredibly easy to make chive flower vinegar. There are no special tools, equipment or cooking skills required. If you can pick some flowers then you’re good to go!
You Will Need
A large cup of freshly picked chive flowers
One bottle of white wine vinegar
One sterilised lidded jar (here’s my guide to sterilising jars should you need some pointers)
One sterilised lidded bottle
A note on the ingredients. I’d recommend the use of white wine vinegar only for making chive flower vinegar, so this is why I’ve specifically listed this type of vinegar.
Chives have a very delicate flavour. Standard white vinegar and malt vinegar are both too strong, and will completely overpower the taste of the chives. If you use red wine vinegar, you won’t get the benefits of the beautiful vibrant pink colour that comes through. Meanwhile, you could use cider vinegar at a push. However, it has a stronger flavour compared to white wine vinegar, so you won’t taste the chive flavour as much.
If you don’t have white wine vinegar, and can’t get hold of any, then I would recommend drying your chive flowers instead.
To make chive flower vinegar, wash your freshly cut chive flowers in cool water and dry them thoroughly.
Fill a clean and dry sterilised jar with chive flowers, until it’s around two-thirds full.
Next, fill the jar with white wine vinegar.
Seal the jar, and store it in a cool, dark place for around two weeks.
After two weeks or so, strain the liquid through a sieve into the sterilised bottle. The pickled chive flowers can then be composted.
Seal your jar and store it in a cool dark cupboard to preserve the colour. Your vinegar should last for around one year – even after opening.
Enjoy splashing on your food whenever you need a taste of summer! Your winter self will truly thank you!
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How To Make Chive Flower Vinegar
- 1 lidded jar (sterilised)
- 1 empty lidded bottle (sterilised)
- 1 sieve
- 1 large cup chive flowers – freshly picked
- 1 bottle white wine vinegar
- Wash freshly cut chive flowers in cold water and dry them thoroughly.
- Fill a clean and dry sterilised jar with the chive flowers, until it's around two-thirds full.
- Next, fill the jar with white wine vinegar.
- Seal the jar, and store it in a cool, dark place for around two weeks.
- After two weeks or so, using a sieve, strain the liquid into a sterilised bottle. Pop the lid on and this will store in a cool dark cupboard for around a year. The pickled flowers can be composted.
If you are looking for other ways to preserve herbs over the summer, then check out my full guide on how to freeze fresh herbs so that you can store them for later.