Chives are a delicious and versatile vegetable with a subtle onion flavor. You can use them as a garnish on a salad, as an addition to egg mayonnaise or cheese sandwiches, in soups, stocks, or stews, in creamy sauces, potato dishes, and in omelets, adding the chives just before serving.
You can even make a pesto with chives instead of basil. It makes a lovely alternative addition to a pasta dish. However, what can you do if you have too many of them to use up before they spoil?
The answer is simple. All you have to do is freeze them, and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze chives and how to defrost them.
How To Freeze Chives
There are two ways in which you can freeze chives. The first is to freeze them whole and the second is to freeze them in the slots of an ice cube tray.
How To Freeze Chives Whole
Use this method if you are pressed for time.
1. Clean and trim the chives.
You don’t want to freeze your chives with dirt and bugs so make sure that you rinse them under cold water. Dry them completely with a paper towel. You don’t want to put them in the freezer while they are still wet as ice crystals will form and the texture of your chives will deteriorate. Once you have dried the chives, trim the ends as they can be a little shriveled.
2. Put the chives in a freezer bag.
Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bag otherwise, freezer burn may occur. Freezer burn will ruin the taste and texture of your chives. If you have a lot of chives, it is a good idea to portion them into multiple bags so that you only defrost as many as you need. Put labels on the bags with the date and contents.
How To Freeze Chives In An Ice Cube Tray
This method is preferable as it allows you to easily take out as many chives as you need at one time. Just grab a cube or two and put them in your dish. The flavor is also better than if you freeze the chives in a freezer bag.
1. Clean and slice the chives.
Rinse the chives under cold water and then slice them to a size that will fit in the slots of an ice cube tray. It is even easier if you use scissors to snip the chives.
2. Fill the ice cube tray slots.
Fill each slot with the chives up to about 2/3rd of the way up. Cover them with water or olive oil and ensure that the chives are fully covered. Wrap the tray in a layer of cling film and freeze for a few hours.
3. Put the ice cubes in a freezer bag.
Put a label on the freezer bag with the date and contents.
Tips For Freezing Chives
- Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur.
- Choose to freeze the chives in an ice cube tray if you can as it’s easier to remove the number of chives that you need for your dish.
- You can freeze the chives with other herbs and spices. Herbs and spices that go well with chives include parsley, rosemary, and chili. Lemon zest and wild garlic are also good additions.
- Use the chives straight from frozen.
For How Long Can You Freeze Chives?
You can freeze chives for up to six months. You will find that the flavor is retained for this period. However, the texture might start to degrade before the six months are up, especially if you have frozen the chives whole.
How Do You Defrost Chives?
The great thing about chives is that you don’t need to defrost them. You can add them straight into your dish. Whole chives will thaw almost immediately when they are exposed to heat, while cubes will take a few minutes.
Can You Refreeze Chives?
It isn’t advisable to refreeze chives. Both the flavor and texture of the chives will deteriorate with a second freezing. However, if you have used the chives in a dish such as soup or a casserole, you can freeze the dish without any problem.
Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Chives?
In some ways, it is a good idea to freeze chives. Firstly, they retain their delicate onion flavor when they are frozen. Secondly, they work well if you are using them in a hot dish. However, if you want to garnish a salad with chives, we don’t recommend freezing them as the texture of chives does deteriorate when they are frozen. Your salad won’t look particularly attractive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing chives but in case you have some questions about freezing chives or chives in general, we have answered a few questions here.
Chives last for between seven and ten days in the fridge. It is a good idea to put them in a freezer burn otherwise your fridge may end up smelling of onions.
Yes, of course, you can but they are more likely to contain dirt and bugs than store-bought chives, so remember to give them a good rinse.
Chinese chives are taller than ordinary chives and have flatter leaves and white blossoms. They have a more potent garlic-like flavor than common chives. Unlike common chives, they don’t have hollow centers. You can freeze them in a freezer bag and can either chop them up or keep them whole. Remember to squeeze out all the air from the freezer bag to stop freezer burn from occurring. They too will last for up to six months in the freezer.
There are four, the common chive, the giant Siberian chive, the garlic or Chinese chive, and the Siberian garlic chive. All can be frozen for up to six months.
The opportunities are endless. Try sour cream and chive new potatoes, baked salmon with chives and lemon, pork and chive dumplings, roast beef and chive roast potatoes, cheese and chive savory scones, spiced tofu stir fry with garlic chives, and bacon and chive cheese balls. They go well with any type of potato, and you can even add them to bread and pancakes.