Methods of Drying Chives

Drying Chives is an excellent way to preserve your harvest. The two basic methods include the traditional method and oven drying Chives.

Traditional Method of Drying Chives

Clip Chives at their peak of freshness in the morning just after the sun has dried any dew from the leaves. Gather a small bunch in your hand and clip one inch or so from the crown of the plant. The chives can then be bundled with rubber bands and hung to dry in a well ventilated, warm place until dry. Because of the delicate flavor of Chives, much of it will be lost in the drying process.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

Garden or Kitchen shears

Basket or other container suitable for Chives sprigs

Salad Spinner or two clean kitchen towels

Rubber Bands

Clothes Drying Rack, Dry attic or porch

Small Brown Paper Bags (optional)

Chives looses some of its distinctive flavor when dried, but, it is still used extensively in sauces, salads, soups and other culinary dishes from around the world.

METHOD:

1. Gather your Chive harvest in the morning hours after the sun has dried away the dew of the night.

2. Gather the sprigs into loose bundles and secure the stems with rubber bands to assure that the bundles stay together as they dry.

3. If using brown paper bags, cover each bundle with the bags that have slits cut into the sides to allow for adequate air flow around the herbs. The paper bags keep dust off of the Chives as it dries and the sunlight from bleaching out the color. Care must be taken to make sure that enough air flows through the bag to keep the Chives from molding. Check occasionally to make sure, and, if need be either cut more holes in the bags or remove them. Sometimes the moisture builds up inside the bag, especially if the sun hits it, allowing fungus and mildew to form.

4. Hang upside down in a warm, dry place such as an attic or porch until the leaves are brittle to the touch, approximately 2 weeks.

5. Gather the dried bundles and place on a sheet of wax paper.

6. Crumble or clip the dried leaves and separate out all of the tough stems onto the wax paper.

7. Store in an air tight container in the pantry for use in cooking.

Oven Drying Chives

Chives can be dried in the oven at the lowest temperature, or, if you have a gas stove with a pilot light, spread out on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper in a single layer.

Special Note: If using cookie sheets to dry the herbs, place the herbs to be dried on parchment paper to avoid direct contact with the metal trays. Metal contact darkens the color of the herb being dried, causing the Chives to loose its bright green color.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

Salad Spinner or two clean kitchen towels

Kitchen shears or good chopping knife

Chopping board or block

Parchment Paper

Cookie Sheet

Oven

METHOD:

1. Wash and gently spin dry the fresh Chive sprigs.

2. Pick out the discolored leaves and woody stems.

3. Preheat your oven to lowest temperature setting.

4. Chop or clip herbs into 1/4" pieces or so onto parchment lined cookie sheet.

5. Place in oven on top rack for 2 to 4 hours or until Chives crumble easily between your fingers. Drying times may vary according climate conditions and relative humidity.

6. Gather up the parchment paper into a funnel and place smallest end over the mouth of a clean, completely dry jar and seal tightly.

STORAGE: Place jar in a dry, dark place such as your kitchen cabinet, pantry or even your freezer.