Carrie's Kitchen: Add homegrown taste to your cooking with chives

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m harvesting from my garden!

Chives, that is. That’s the only perennial food plant that I have. But those green little shoots were coming up in the back row of my flower garden by mid-March, and I am happy to clip a few strands here and there to get some fresh, homegrown taste in our food.


Chives are part of the family, and taste like concentrated green onions, or scallions, as they are also called. You can add them to food without even cooking it, but they hold up well in baked goods, too.

My first recipe is for these baked potato buttermilk biscuits. I’ve been experimenting with biscuits more over the past few years, and homemade biscuits are so easy and so worth it! I have made sweet potato biscuits before, which use cooked and mashed sweet potatoes in them, but I have not tried potato biscuits yet. I’m kind of waiting for an occasion so I don’t eat them all on my own. Here you pre-cook a potato, then shred it, and then you fold it in with some cheddar cheese and the chopped chives. This recipe has a lot of butter, a lot of potato, a lot of buttermilk and a not too shabby amount of cheddar cheese, so they are going to taste moist and rich whether you are an experienced biscuit maker or not.

Secondly, I was interested in this chive pancake recipe. Now don’t start imagining putting maple syrup on an onion-flavored pancake, because that is not what I’m suggesting. This is an Asian savory dish, with an eggy pancake, and you are meant to dip it in soy sauce, though I think sour cream would be really tasty too. This recipe says it makes three small pancakes, so you may want to double or triple the recipe, depending how many people you want to serve.

And finally, a recipe for a pasta salad with chive buttermilk dressing. I think we can all get stuck when it comes to pasta salad inspiration, so I thought this recipe with peas, seashell pasta, chives, thyme, prosciutto (or bacon) and arugula (or baby spinach) with a nice light white sauce would be refreshing. I love having pasta salad on hand to give the kids for a fancy lunch that is ready as soon as I pull it out of the refrigerator.

Chives are the early ones, but hopefully we’ll see more plants coming up soon.


Baked potato buttermilk biscuits

1 medium baking potato, rinsed and dried

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, diced, plus 2 tablespoons, melted

1/4 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese


2 tablespoons chopped chives

1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

Cook the potato in a microwave, an oven, or in boiling water until almost fork-tender. Let cool completely. Using a paring knife, peel the potato, and then shred with a box grater.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper. Add the cold butter and cut in using 2 knives, a pastry blender, potato masher, or your hands, until the dough resembles coarse crumbs the size of peas. Fold in the cheese, chives, and shredded potato.

Add the buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It’ll be sticky, but don’t panic. Transfer to a well-floured work surface and knead a few times to smooth it out. Fold the dough onto itself about 4 times, turning clockwise after each fold. Pat the dough with your hands until it’s about 3/4 inch thick.

Use a 2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter to cut into rounds. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking pan just barely touching each other. Gather scraps and repeat patting and cutting (you should have about 20).

Brush the biscuits with the melted butter, and bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Cooks' note: If you cook the potato all the way, it’ll be really difficult to peel and grate later on, so make sure to cook it just a bit shy of almost done.

Chive pancakes

1 bunch chives, clean, trim the ends and cut into 1-inch long strips

1 cup flour

1 cup water

2 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce for dipping

Put flour and eggs in a container, slowly pour water into the container, and keep stirring to make sure everything is mixed well.

Toss the salt into the batter and add the chives into the mixture, set aside.

Spread the oil evenly onto a non-stick pan over medium heat, carefully pour about ⅓ of the mixture into the pan and create a round shape, cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side and remove the pancake from the pan, continue the process until all the mixture is used.

Dip in the soy sauce and enjoy. Makes about three 4-inch chive pancakes.

Seashell salad with buttermilk chive dressing

8 ounces uncooked seashell pasta

1 cup frozen green peas

1/4 cup organic canola mayonnaise

1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups loosely packed baby arugula (or baby spinach)

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 ounces finely chopped prosciutto (about 1/2 cup)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Add peas to pasta during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well.

While pasta cooks, combine mayonnaise and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl. Add pasta mixture and arugula; toss to coat.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto; sauté 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle prosciutto over salad.