Frugal House Recipes: Spring Cleaning Vegan Chive Pesto

Well, we’re not even 2 hours into the new Mars-Saturn cycle, and so of course, I’ve made a frugal (Saturn) recipe with a Mars herb! I didn’t plan it; what happened was I was watering my herb garden, and then decided to check the front of the house to see if my Garlic Mustard AKA Jack-By-The Hedge was ready to go. It wasn’t. Well, looking at the recipe I wrote for my Spring Weed Queen Garlic Mustard Pesto a while back, they should be good to go in about a month. However, onion chives had taken up residence in the area, and were getting so long that they were begging to be grabbed and ripped from their roots.

Onion Chives growing in leave-strewn soil

How awesome that chives grow pretty much everywhere in brown soil if you look. You may not find them in desert sand, but, this land here is Long Island land, and we’re essentially a huge sandbar, so, there you go. You’d be surprised the edible plants that are growing right next to where you stroll every day.

Onion Chives on a green cutting board, with a couple of leaves of Jack-by-the-Hedge for good measure, because, why not?

I took a few bunches inside and commenced the Surgery.

Chives chopped up rough

I didn’t realize that I had pulled up a baby onion. Notice that everything goes in. This isn’t Joël Robuchon, OK? It’s all getting blended.

End of chives, and one single attached onion chive root

All of those chives, all in all, took about a cup and a quarter of olive oil. You can use whatever oil you want. I added a half cup at a time, blended thoroughly, and then an extra quarter-cup, and blended even more.

A measuring cup of olive oil above a blender with chives inside

See what it looks like?

Onion chive pesto partially through blending

At this point it’s pretty thick. Your mileage may vary, so, add as much oil as you feel necessary, so that it can blend, at least. We’ll be adding some water, so, understand that the texture and viscosity will change soon. We add a handful of almonds, right in there.

Handful of almonds above a blender

After blending the almonds, then we add a little bit of water, let’s say 2 tablespoons at a time. A little goes a long way. We blend the water in. Oil and water don’t mix, you say? Well, when we blend it, it emulsifies, and it becomes homogenized because of the solids that are liquified. It won’t separate. You bet your arse that a lot of seemingly oil-only sauces are made this way. I didn’t measure, but all in all I probably used about a 1/4 cup of water.

It ends up looking like this:

Finished Chive Pesto in a container

Chives are great for digestion (see below) and are therefore perfect for “spring cleaning” or detox, if you ask me. This pesto, as well as the dandelion greens that grow here, will be a major part of my diet until the Garlic Mustard and other plants come in. However, “good for digestion” can also mean “can cause digestive upset” if you take too much of it. If you have issues with any of these foods, I recommend eating sparingly, or, not at all. You know what foods you can tolerate, after all. Also note that the flavor and medicinal strength that it has right after preparation will mellow out as it sits. So, make it a few hours or a day before you plan to serve it, especially if cooking for picky eaters. If you’re like me, you’ll use this just like a traditional Basil pesto, and douse your pasta with it. But, it also works great as a drizzle on your main course, on bread or rice, hummus, on salad, or a as a just-the-tip dip for chips. The sky is the limit! It will last in the fridge for a long time, longer than what you expect. My MO is, if it isn’t growing mold, and doesn’t smell funky, it’s probably alright ;) but that’s just me.

Here’s a link to a section of a book on Google Books that talks about the medicinal and culinary properties of Chives:

What Herb Is That?: How to Grow and Use the Culinary Herbs by John and Rosemary Hemphill (come on, you can’t make names like that up, y’all)

A quick google search provides this information from

The whole plant has a beneficial effect on the digestive system and the blood circulation. It improves the appetite, is digestive, hypotensive and tonic. It has similar properties to garlic (A. sativum), but in a much milder form, and it is rarely used medicinally. has an entry on the plant as well. First thing I noticed was that it has a good Vitamin A content, so, great for the eyes:


Chive Pesto on a spoon AKA The Best Green Slime You’ve Ever Had

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s