The daring first herb to peek through the cool, damp soil of early spring turns out to be the soft, subtle chive.
Its daring Kelly green peeks through with wisdom of warmth around the corner. The vibrant sprigs remain delicate enough to wave in the breeze, saying hello to the rest of the garden.
The chive is the most delicate of the onion family. It is soft and whimsical and merely swings across your taste buds. The green onion is a bit more stout, and we all know the onion is pungent.
To get the best flavor from the chive, stay away from heating it. Let it remain in its organic form. Snip with scissors into small pieces to add freshness to dressings, dips, grains, salads, omelets or fish.
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Chive on, spring is here.
Boiled Potatoes With Asparagus and Chive Compound Butter
Makes 6 servings
For the Chive Compound Butter
1 pound good unsalted butter softened, Kerry Gold or Pellagra
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon pink Himalayan sea salt, fine grind
1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
1/2 cup snipped chives
1/4 cup celery leaves
Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, blend butter, shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and coriander on slow speed until incorporated, about 8 minutes.
Change speed to medium-medium high and whip until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Return the speed of the mixer to low and add the chives and celery leaves. Mix until incorporated. Place in a serving dish.
Tip: You may freeze this butter for later use. Pipe into single use servings and freeze or spoon into plastic bags and freeze. It will hold for up to 2 months.
For the Boiled Potatoes and Asparagus
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, “baby b” size — about the size of a golf ball
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt, large granules
1 pound asparagus (about 1 bunch)
Place the cleaned potatoes in a 6-quart soup pot and fill with just enough water to cover the potatoes. Add the kosher salt. Bring the potatoes to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Drain potatoes. Sprinkle with Celtic sea salt. The large crystals will add a nice texture.
Trim the woody stalks off the asparagus. Thinly slice the remaining green part of the stalks on an angle, reserving the beautiful tops. Place the asparagus on top of the potatoes.
Finish with a generous dollop of Chive Compound Butter.
Renee Kelly is the owner of Renee Kelly’s Harvest in Johnson County. Her passion lies in changing the food system, one plate at a time. Her inspiration is Mother Nature and the many growers in the Kansas City area.