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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

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

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

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Tip

Use chives to flavor foods such as eggs, fish and sauces, to add color or as a garnish to a variety of dishes.

Store dried chives in a cool, dark, dry location for the best results. Use dried chives within six to 12 months.

You can dry whole chives in a food dehydrator.

Warning

Chives lose flavor when dried. Another recommended method to preserve chives is to freeze them, which is more effective in retaining flavor.

About the Author

Maxine Wallace

Based in Portland, Ore., Maxine Wallace is a writer with more than 12 years of experience. With a bachelor's degree in journalism and experience working on marketing campaigns for large media agencies, she is well-versed in multiple industries including the Internet, cooking, gardening, health, fitness, travel and holistic living.