Just about everyone has a sign that lets them know spring has arrived.
Gardeners usually look for the crocus to bloom. Birders might be looking, and listening, for the robin. And, any baseball fan sees the first pitch at a Spring Training game as a sure sign.
For Scott Hutcheson, the harbinger of spring is the appearance of the tasty chive.
Chive Butter– mix together four tablespoons softened unsalted butter, two tablespoons minced chives, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. This compound butter is great on hot rolls or to toss through new potatoes.
Chive Oil– blanch a bunch of chives in boiling water for 10 minutes then plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Remove from water and squeeze out the excess water. Drain on paper towels. Put the chives and ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil in a blender and puree. Chill oil for 8 hours and then bring to room temperature and pour through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids. Use the chive oil to flavor soups, fish, vegetables and whatever else comes to mind.
Chive Pesto– Two cups chopped chives, 1/2 cup toasted almonds, one clove garlic (crushed), 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add the chives, almonds, and garlic to a food processor. Start the processor and add the oil in a slow, steady stream until it forms a paste. Stir in the cheese, salt, and pepper. Use immediately or refrigerate for four days or freeze for six months. Toss into hot pasta, spread on toasted bread, use as a pizza sauce or an omelet toping.
Chive Vinaigrette – 2 tablespoons of finely minced chives, one teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, freshly ground pepper to taste, 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil. Place all ingredients in a jar with a lid, tighten lid, and shake. This dressing will brighten up any salad.
Mango Chive Salsa- one cup diced mango, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup minced chives, one tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice, two teaspoons minced, seeded Serrano chili, one teaspoon lime zest, one garlic finely chopped garlic, one tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon honey, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. This is good with tortilla chips and great with fish.