The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Easy and delicious cooked greens

Pot of greensAfter letting the plants take up space in our garden for four years, I've finally found a use for chives.  Let me back up, though, and tell you about our new favorite greens "recipe."  I put "recipe" in quotes because something this simple doesn't really seem like cooking, but the taste is surprisingly complex:

Cooked greensTurn the heat on high and stir until the leaves are just barely cooked (a few scant minutes.)  The greens cook down to make just enough to serve two.  Not elegant but definitely delicious!

Now, back to those chives.  Egyptian onions make an appearance on our plates daily for much of the year, but at the beginning of May, the plants begin to put up their fruiting stalks.  At that point, the onion leaves turn thicker and lose a lot of their prime flavor, so I needed to find a replacement for my most-used herb.  That's when I remembered that normal people cook with chives the way I cook with Egyptian onions, and Sweat bee on chivessure enough, chives made a pretty good substitute in the recipe above.  Chive leaves seem to lose their flavor less when they're in bloom, even though I think the leaves don't taste as good as Egyptian onion leaves during the rest of the year.

In case you're wondering why I weeded and mulched chives for so long without eating them, the answer is --- pollinators!  Our halictid bees, especially, adore the flowers of chives, and I've seen several other pollinators visiting from time to time.  And, yes, they're pretty.

Our chicken waterer eliminates the messy task of cleaning out poop-filled waterers.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Yep, I love the look of chives too. While the taste is not great except when I am craving fresh onions and its the middle of winter, they are so pretty I grow them as flowers in my flower garden.
Comment by Anonymous Sat May 14 09:22:39 2011
Chives are so pretty in the garden. Last year I added garlic chives to my mix and I love the taste of them (more than regular chives). The texture is nice, too, and even the foliage looks prettier--deeper green and flat blades, a little like grass. To top it all off, they make pretty white flowers with the same shape as the common chives, but larger. In my garden, garlic chives bloom later and when I used these two plants in combination as a garden border, the effect is very nice and yes-- the pollinators love them!
Comment by sara Sat May 14 12:57:31 2011
Anonymous and Sara --- Sounds like "pretty" is among the reasons many people grow them, then.
Comment by anna Sat May 14 15:25:51 2011

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