I enjoy growing and using my own herbs. I particularly like chives and use them in lots of dishes. However, until this year I have always thrown away the flowers. Recently I was indulging in a spot of blog-hopping when I came across this post by Lili at "creative savv" on making chive flower vinegar. Lili's blog is a very inspiring mix of thrifty makes and practical advice with some beautiful photography. She has kindly allowed me to share her instructions, with the philosophy that blogging is all about sharing wisdom.
This is a very easy way to turn distilled vinegar into a "foodie" product. Distilled vinegar is 9p per 100ml in the supermarket, and my supermarket certainly doesn't sell any herb vinegars. The nearest equivalent is white wine vinegar which costs 22p per 100ml.
Once you have collected the chive flowers they need to be washed and dried. I don't have a salad spinner so I left them on some kitchen towel for a little while.
I didn't have as many flowers as I thought I did. You can keep them in the fridge in a sealed bag for a few days while other buds open, but I wasn't patient enough!
The flowers need to go into a clean jar. Ideally the jar should be two-thirds full. Mine wasn't quite up to that level. Then fill the jar with distilled or white vinegar.
Then simply leave the jar somewhere where you will remember to poke the blossoms under the vinegar twice a day. It is far too pretty to leave in a cupboard! You need to leave it for at least a week; the oniony flavour will become more intense the longer you leave it. After ten days mine looked like this:
Isn't that a beautiful colour? Once you are happy with the flavour the vinegar needs to be strained. It makes very good vinaigrette and is apparently excellent with fish and chips. I was thinking of gifting it, but I don't think I want to part with it!