Types of chives & Alliums + Egg Salad Recipe

Egg salad is good at anytime of the day, but I think it makes for a perfect brunch. It’s a seasonally appropriate dish in the spring as well. When people lived off the land more than they do now, eggs were usually in over abundance in the spring. Egg salad is a good way to use up a lot of eggs. Add in some fresh chopped herbs and you can vary its seasonings. Fresh tarragon, dill, or chives I think are very fitting.

Chives are one of my favorite herbs. They certainly add a kick on top of a baked potato. Chives are in flower right now, and those flowers are edible! They have a lighter flavor than the actual chive.

There are several types of chives. Chives are part of the onion, or Allium, family, which makes them a nice ornamental plant too. They grow from a bulb underground. The chives we typically find are Allium schoenoprasum. The leaf and the flower stalks are all edible. They flower purple and are most commonly found at garden centers in the herb section. I have not had luck starting these from seed, unless the seed I ordered was bad. Chives are delicate and should be used as a fresh herb or garnish.

Garden Chives
Garden Chives

Then you have Garlic or Chinese chives, Allium tuberosum. They also grow from a bulb underground. The leaves are flat, but the flower stalks are round. It flowers white later in the summer, and is always covered in pollinators! I grew these easily from seed and they do reseed around the garden quite well. They can be cooked like a vegetable and used in stir-fry. They have a light garlic flavor and can be used similarly to the other chive. These chives can also be used as a fresh herb.

Chinese Chives

Scallions, also known as green onions, are different than chives, but they are still in the Allium family. They are also known as bunching onions, Allium fistulosum, which is the name you’ll look for if purchasing seed. Scallions are the green parts of young onions, which grow by roots in the ground. I love scallions on top of soups or Mexican casseroles.

Bunching Onion Seed

I love them all and it’s worthwhile growing all of them for different uses and flavors. I keep all these in my garden plus shallots (Allium cepa aggregatum), garlic (Allium sativum), and regular onions (Allium cepa)! Beyond that, there are ornamental alliums too such as ‘Millennium’, and the spring flowering Allium bulbs such as ‘Globemaster’.

Allium Millenium
Allium Ornamental Bulbs

This short lesson in Alliums may have you hungry, so whip up some egg salad and look up some Allium species you may want to grow in your garden.

Egg Salad Recipe

  • 1 dozen eggs, hardboiled
  • 1/3 cup mayonaise
  • 1 T yellow or dijon mustard
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 T Chives
  • S&P to taste

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