This is one of my favorite moments in the spring. We have a tree in our front yard that has burst into bloom and covers our yard in an a canopy of electric-pink blossoms. When the wind blows, soft petals drift through the air and settle into the grass like fuchsia confetti. I try not to stray far from home while this tree is in bloom, lest I miss a precious moment of our tree’s bold and reverent announcement of spring’s arrival.
In the back yard there isn’t a whole lot going on yet. Most of our 96 square feet of raised beds are looking forlorn and neglected. Even so, dandelions are anxiously popping up in the lawn and there are a few random leaves of lettuce and herbs that managed to re-seed themselves poking their way up in our raised beds. The exceptions are the 2 square feet which are abundantly producing our earliest perennial crop — Chives!
I swear that the first moment the sun comes out in the spring, these little troopers start growing like mad. They don’t give a rip about snow and frost. I love these dark coloured, mild-flavoured little toughies. I transplanted mine from my parents’ garden. My Mom and Dad tend an amazing flower garden in their partially wooded, partially sun-soaked yard on a lake in rural Northern Minnesota. They focus on flora and their only edibles are chives, rhubarb and my Dad’s small blueberry patch. They have always grown chives and my Mom sends me out to snip a small bunch to garnish baked potatoes and other dishes when I’m home. I love chives on potatoes, salads, and pasta and pretty much anything that can be heightened by the addition of a dark green garnish with a mild, onion-y flavour.
Our garden’s earliest offering provided me with the jumping-off point for our breakfast. I did a quick Google search to see what others have been saying about chives at breakfast time. I quickly found two breakfasts with chives in a starring role. The first was a recipe for Chive Scrambled Eggs by Martha Stewart. I don’t dig the thought of cottage cheese in scrambled eggs* so instead, I decided to follow inspiration and guidance in a recent post on a lovin’ forkful for our breakfast of scrambled eggs with chives and a grape tomato salad with a few tweaks of my own.
Tomato and Cucumber Salad, serves 2
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
- 4 inches of cucumber, quartered and chopped
- 1 ½ Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 ½ Tablespoons of fresh chives, rinsed and chopped
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
To begin, I went outside with my kitchen scissors and snipped a small bunch of chives from each of my two abundant bunches. There will be no shortage of chives for us this summer, but I still try to use each bunch equally.
- 2 Whole eggs, plus 4 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 3 ½ Tablespoons light cream cheese
- 2 ½ Tablespoons fresh chives, rinsed and chopped
- ½ Tablespoon unsalted butter
Once the salad was assembled, I cracked the eggs 2 whole eggs into a bowl, then separated 4 more eggs, and added only the whites. I measured the cream cheese into the bowl, and ground black pepper into the eggs. Most recipes call for salt at this point but if you add salt as much as recipes and food shows call for, you are going to consume way too much salt. There is no need to exceed healthy sodium levels in your diet. There are so many other flavors and textures going on in most meals that you don’t need to salt your food at every turn for it to taste wonderful. Once the eggs were adequately whisked, I melted the butter in a non-stick pan and scrambled the eggs.
When the eggs were just set, I sprinkled chives and folded them in while the eggs finished cooking. I like my eggs on the done side. I’m all for super-soft eggs that are made so creamy and decadent at the Birchwood Cafe, but if I’m not there I prefer mine to be fairly firm. With the addition of cream cheese, the eggs stayed moist and turned out to be some of the fluffiest eggs I have ever made. As soon as the eggs were done to my liking, I served them in a low dish, and served the salad in small bowls on the side of our plates.
This breakfast hit the spot. It felt as springy as the day. The salad had light, refreshing flavors and the eggs were fluffy with a subtle creaminess. Our garden’s verdant chives carried a mild and pleasant onion-note throughout the plate. This breakfast was satisfying and gave us lightness and energy to enjoy the beautiful spring day before us, missing not one precious, perfumed breath.