Trimming the flowers, my mother had told me that morning, would keep the onion from going to seed. Once cut, however, the blossoms were too pretty to throw away.
I remembered having once seen them on a salad, and set about looking through cookbooks and recipes. Turns out the edible blossoms are edible in just about any fashion, but are generally served raw as a garnish or used to flavor dressings or vinegar. I decided to embark on a dual experiment in salad dressing; using half of the petals for a spur of the moment oil and vinegar, and leaving the rest to infuse a bottle of white vinegar.
The salad dressing was a simple oil and balsamic. Tinged with mild onion, it was an excellent match for the bag of peppery Orleans arugula I had picked up at Phoenix Fruits earlier in the week.
As for the vinegar, I'll have to wait at least a month for the first taste. Until then, I'll simply admire the bobbing blossoms.
CHIVE BLOSSOM BALSAMIC
Cut 10 just opened chive blossoms. Separate florets and finely chop stems. Combine 1/2 cup oil with 1/8 to 1/4 cup dark balsamic vinegar. Add 1 tablespoon mustard; whisk well. Add salt and crushed black peppercorns to taste, and sprinkle in chive clippings and florets. Serve over arugula or other peppery spring greens.