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Chive blossoms add spice to spring dishes

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Chive blossoms arrive in early June in this zone, and they brighten up the garden with lavender orbs. But they're far more than decorative. These flowers add spicy, garlicky notes to many dishes.

Garlic chives, allium terberosum, are also known as Chinese chives or Oriental garlic and are related to onions, garlic, leeks and ramps, which are all in the allium family of lilies.

You can add them to green salads, potato salads, omelets, or make chive butter to give a little punch of flavor. Chives blossoms and stems add exciting color to your favorite dishes.

To use, pull the smaller flowers away from the stem, and pull petals away from the calyx (center green portion).

After about a month, the blossoms fall off and you can use the chive stems all summer. They are perennials, so if you choose to plant chives, you will enjoy them year after year.

But the season for chive blossoms is short, so go out and pick some purple beauties today. And that's not chive talking, that's good eating.

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