Because of their high water content, chives can be difficult to dry successfully; they often mold first. Instead, preserve their piquant flavor and vivid, green color by freezing them to enjoy all year long in egg dishes, dips and spreads, cheese sauces, fish and potato dishes, and soups and stews.
- Harvest: Cut chives one inch above ground level; don’t simply cut the tips as this inhibits the plant’s growth. Discard bruised, shriveled or otherwise damaged stalks.
- Prep: Wash the remaining stalks in cold water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Use kitchen shears to snip into desired length.
- Package and freeze: Pack herbs into ice-cube trays, filling each cube one-half to two-thirds full. Set trays in the freezer and use a pitcher to top off trays with water.
- Store: When herb-and-water cubes are frozen, remove from trays, place in resealable, plastic pint- or quart-sized freezer bags and stash them in an easy-to-reach place in the freezer. Keep up to one year.
To use frozen chives:
Remove desired amount of cubes from freezer (use frozen herbs in approximately the same proportion as fresh ones). For flavoring soups and stews, simply add frozen chive cubes near the end of your cooking time. For other uses, place cubes in a strainer, and allow to thaw and drain simultaneously. Pat dry with a paper towel.