In Season: Chives

By Wendy McMillan

These pungent, savory herbs add much more than flavor to dips, soups, and stroganoffs. Chives are high in dietary fiber and brimming with folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamins A, K, C, and B6. Plus, new research suggests chives—and other allium vegetables like garlic, onions, and leeks—protect against stomach and colorectal cancers due to their beneficial sulfur compounds.

Asian-inspired fish cakes with chives
In a food processor, combine 1 pound firm haddock or cod fillets, coarsely chopped; 2 eggs; 1/4 cup chopped, fresh chives; 1/3 cup fresh, whole-grain bread crumbs; 2 tablespoons chopped green onions; 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce; 1 tablespoon fish sauce; and 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice. Pulse well, and shape mixture into patties. Sauté gently in a skillet over medium-high heat, 2 minutes each side or until done. Serve over sautéed spinach or with stir-fried vegetables.

Baked ricotta with chives
Mix 15 ounces low-fat ricotta with ½ cup cottage cheese; 2 egg whites; 1/2 cup chopped, fresh chives; 2 teaspoons chili powder; and black pepper to taste. Divide into ramekins (those small dipping dishes used to serve salad dressing) coated with olive oil, and bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool slightly, and serve as an appetizer, or top with roasted tomatoes to serve as a side dish.

Tofu and chive dumplings
In a bowl, combine 8 ounces firm tofu, cubed and mashed, with 2 tablespoons chopped chives; 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce; 1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts; 2 cups packed, chopped spinach; 1 teaspoon minced ginger; and 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil. Seal mixture in gyoza or wonton wrappers, pinching edges shut with a cornstarch-water blend. Steam or pan-fry in a wok or skillet. Serve with soy sauce for dipping