The first edible plant to pop up in our garden every year is chives. So, we have chives. Lots ‘n lots of chives. I was first introduced to them when I was in university and working at a country club – the gardener would bring us impoverished students produce from his garden. I’ve loved them ever since and always make sure I have some in my flower garden. They are very hardy (meaning I’ve never managed to kill them) and pretty, if I let them go to flower. I split them occasionally and give some away or move them around a bit. It seems to keep them healthier. They’ve always had a full or partial sun spot to live in, so I assume that is where they prefer to be.
Today we are going with Plan B for the weekend. It’s raining. No yard or garden work possible. I’m ok with that too. Instead, I braved the rain for a few moments to cut some chives to assemble a semi-seasonal dinner tonight. We’ll have tomato soup with croutons and drizzled chive oil and cheddar chive beer bread. Doesn’t it sound good for a dreary spring day? The kids will be less than enthusiastic about the tomato soup (they will probably live through the experience), but they will be all over the bread. We love bread.
The chive oil is super easy. It makes a very small amount, which is good because it only keeps for two weeks in the fridge. Whatever we don’t use tonight will be used for a salad dressing of some sort in the next week.
- 1 large bunch chives (1 ounce), minced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt, to taste
Whiz the chives with the olive oil in a blender or food processor. Season with salt. Strain the oil through a fine sieve. Cover and refrigerate (1 to 2 weeks maximum) until ready to use.
And the cheddar chive beer bread couldn’t be easier. Six ingredients, minimal assembly and you have a nice warm quick bread loaf in under an hour. Perfect for a weekend dinner. My loaf will be cool by dinner, but I can warm it up again.
Cheddar Chive Beer Bread
- 3 cups self-rising flour (If, like me, you don’t have this in your cupboard, make your own)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 to 3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
- 1 cup (or slightly more) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
- 1/4 cup melted butter
Stir together first 5 ingredients; pour (or more likely pat – it’s a pretty thick doughy batter) into a lightly greased loaf pan. Pour melted butter over top before baking. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes to an hour.
And that’s it. Now all I have left to do is fold laundry and read my library book. I love rainy Saturdays (especially when they prevent you from pulling weeds in the garden).