Today I was entranced by the stacks of small, clear containers packed with fluffy, lilac colored chive blossoms at the Siena Farms stand. They’re beautiful, have a lovely onion-y scent, and feel almost weightless in your hand. I’d never seen them before! I bought a package and when I got home with them this evening we ate them fresh, just broken up and sprinkled into a salad. They tasted wonderful: like chives but slightly sharper. The man I spoke with at the Siena Farms stand told me that he likes to batter and fry them. I haven’t tried that yet, because I always like to try something new in as simple a preparation as possible to really understand what it tastes like first. But it sounds great — sort of like a high-end “Awesome Blossom.” I would use the same batter that I learned to make in Florence for frying fresh sage leaves and zucchini blossoms, because it’s a very light, airy batter that would lend itself well to these delicate flowers.
Fried Chive Blossoms
1 egg, separated (you will use both the yolk and the white)
1 cup flour
dry white wine
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 pint of fresh chive blossoms
oil for frying
Lightly beat the egg yolk. Stir flour into the egg yolk to mix. Add a little bit of white wine, about 1/2 tsp at a time, to thin the batter to a reasonable consistency for dipping and frying. Grate a pinch of fresh nutmeg into the batter. Whip the egg white until it forms soft peaks and gently fold it into the batter. Dip the chive blossoms gently into the batter (note that they must be dry or the battery won’t stick), shaking off any excess batter, and deep-fry until lightly golden. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, salt lightly, and serve immediately.