The beginning of June is the hardest time of the year for me, garden-wise. All my seedlings are in the ground, and now I just have to give them time: times for tomatoes to swell up and turn from green to gold or red, time for the beans to start winding themselves up the trellis, time for the cucumber vines to sprawl and begin bearing fruit. I’m a pretty impatient person, so the wait feels so long!
It is times like these that I fall back on the few things that are producing in the garden: the salad greens and the herbs. And the beauty of growing herbs is that you have every incentive to use them. Not only do they add a lot of flavor to any dish, but the more you harvest them, the more they will produce.
Over the past few years, my three tiny little chive plants have blossomed into giant masses of onion-y greens that are over a foot long. While I’m using chives in everything I can think of, I know I still won’t be able to use them all. So I’m freezing a bunch of chopped chives, which means I can enjoy them all year long.
Freezing chives couldn’t be easier. There’s no blanching involved, like you’d find with a lot of other herbs and vegetables.
Here’s all you need to do to freeze chives:
1. Wash the chives and dry them. I find it easiest to wrap them in a clean dishtowel, and gently pat them dry. Alternatively, you could put them through a salad spinner.
2. Slice the chives into small pieces, and spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
3. Slide the cookie sheet into the freezer until the chives are frozen through. Since the pieces are so small and thin, this won’t take long – only an hour or two, max.
4. Transfer the frozen chive pieces to freezer-safe containers (I’m using 4 ounce glass jars) or bags.
That’s it! Since you’re freezing them on a cookie sheet first, they won’t clump together too much in the jar, so it is easy to pull out just the amount you need for any given recipe. I haven’t found much need to defrost the chives before using them either – they are so small that they hardly need any time to come to room temperature, and I just throw them into dishes straight from the freezer.