By Maxine Wallace

Don't think of chives simply as a garnish; instead, use them to brighten and enliven countless dishes. This springtime favorite, allium schoenoprasum by its botanical name, imparts a mild onion flavor that pairs with vegetables, meats, eggs, soups and salads alike. You can preserve chives to use out of season and enjoy their gentle flavor year-round.


Oven-Drying Chives

Wash fresh chives and give them a few turns in a salad spinner or allow them to air dry.

Cut chives into 1/4-inch pieces, discarding any damaged parts. Arrange the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the baking sheet in the oven, leaving the door ajar.

Dry the chives for 4 to 6 hours, or until they become crisp. Take the chives out of the oven, cool them completely and store them in an airtight container.

Air-Drying Chives

Gather a small bundle of chives and secure it at the base with a rubber band or twist-tie. Hang the chives upside down in a warm, dry location.

Check on the chives regularly to tighten the twist-tie or rubber band as needed because chives shrink as they drive. Allow them several days to fully dry.

Remove the rubber band or twist-tie once the chives are thoroughly dry and crisp. Store the chives whole or cut them into pieces. Seal the dried chives in an airtight container.