The Herb that Keeps on Giving

comments (5) July 16th, 2010

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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Chives, butter and lime combine for a flavorful topping for garden-fresh vegetables.
A little dish of chive butter is a versatile addition to summertime recipes.
Chives, butter and lime combine for a flavorful topping for garden-fresh vegetables.Click To Enlarge

Chives, butter and lime combine for a flavorful topping for garden-fresh vegetables.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

Why can’t all the herbs I grow be as dependable as the little container of chives that sits on my patio?

Even before spring has sprung, these chives help make those last days of winter bearable. Their attractive purple blossoms are the first flowers to bloom and give me hope that summer is on its way.

Then, after I’ve used most of the leaves and flowers in summer salads and other delicious dishes, I cut them to within an inch of their lives and sit back to watch the leaves re-grow. And grow again.

The newest harvest of tender chives were clipped, washed, snipped and mixed into a dish of butter to create a recipe I used as a topping for just about anything I could get my hands on. I spread the chive butter on fish filets before grilling, buttered roasted corn-on-the-cob, and mixed it in with garden-fresh steamed vegetables. It can also be used to scramble eggs, spread on toasted rolls, or top meats before baking.

This recipe for Chive Butter takes less than 10 minutes to make, from first snip to last stir:

Chive Butter


1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
4 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly groung
1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced (optional)


  1. Use scissors to snip the chives into small pieces of similar size.
  2. Cream the snipped chives into the softened butter.
  3. Add the lime juice and mix until well blended.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, mix together.
  5. Add minced garlic, if desired, and mix well.

The butter will keep in the refrigerator for a week if stored in a small, covered container. It can also be rolled into a log, wrapped in plastic wrap or waxed paper and stored in the freezer to use in small batches when needed.



posted in: herbs, Recipes, chives

Comments (5)

kristenclif writes: Herbs makes your recipes delicious
Posted: 1:18 am on August 23rd
Elodyanson writes: Wow, that's a good use of combining three different flavours!!
Posted: 1:05 am on August 22nd
timonrooster writes: I know very little about herbs. Your articles are great source of information for me...
Posted: 1:59 am on July 13th
MikeTheGardener writes: I was delightfully surprised to see a recipe to use chives. I was expecting growing tips for them, but the recipe now gives me some extra info to use my garlic chives.

Have you tried garlic chives in this recipe?

In your opinion if I use garlic chives instead, will the proportions (4 tablespoons snipped) be the same?

Just curious, because I am going to use your recipe, and while I love to grow fresh herbs, cooking isn't a strong suit of mine.
Posted: 11:58 am on March 9th
ColleenF writes: Yep, chives are VERY reliable! I planted some several years ago in a rose bed at the recommendation of my mom who said her grandmother did this to prevent rose pests and diseases. Well, it has done exactly what my great grandmother said it would do....I have never had any pest problems of any kind and rarely have any black spot either. I also can't see the ground in the rose bed.......nor the base of the roses! Oh, well, it's a small price to pay for eternal chives!!!
Posted: 1:16 pm on July 27th
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