Chive Pesto

May 3, 2013

YESTERDAY, I took freshly-cut chives, and processed them together with garlic, almonds, Parmesan cheese and a little olive oil. The result? Well, let’s just say that after one bite, my eyes rolled to the back of my head. After two bites, I knew I’d have to share the recipe with you:

Chive Pesto
Ingredients for 1 1/2 cups of sauce
4 cups (or more) chopped fresh “common” (not “garlic”) chives
2 oz. slivered almonds
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/4 cup (or more) olive oil

For the very best chives, head out to the garden with scissors or hand-pruners, and give your chives a hair-cut. Don’t worry — the plant will re-grow itself in no time at all.

Don’t have a clump of chives in your garden? Then you must plant one. Right away. Not only is this herb perfect for pesto, but its flowers are necessary for this irresistible elixir.

Don’t have a garden? You can obtain already-cut stems from your local farm-stand or supermarket.

To start,  roughly chop the herbs. You’ll need at least 4 cups of chives for this recipe.

Then pour the chives into the work bowl of your food processor.

Add 2 ounces of slivered almonds. (Most supermarkets sell 2-oz packages of slivered almonds.)

Also add one cup of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

Did someone say cheese?

That’s Lily, my sous-chef. To date, she’s the only beagle to have earned a certificate from the Cordon Bleu in Paris. The certificate was for eating, not cooking. Her specialty is Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.

Back to the pesto: Roughly chop one clove of garlic, and add it to the food processor.

Turn the machine one, and give these ingredients a quick spin just to chop them finely.

With the machine running, add olive oil to desired consistency. I used only one 1/4 cup oil, because I wanted a thick, spread-able pesto. If you want a thin pesto that you can toss with your pasta or cooked veggies, by all means add up to one 1/2 cup of oil.

Presto – you’ve got pesto!

Now taste the sauce. Does it need extra cheese, extra almonds (for crunch), or, perchance, extra chives? Add more of these ingredients to suit your taste.

I would not, however, add any salt. Speaking from experience, the Parmesan cheese offers all the sodium this poetry requires.

Need a few serving ideas? I can offer these:

Chive Pesto is terrific for dipping. I have every intention of serving the sauce on Saturday, when friends David, Robert, Charlotte and Miranda come for dinner. We’ll enjoy the pesto during the cocktail hour, along with crackers and martinis.

You won’t believe what Chive Pesto will do for a piece of steamed cod. I’d say it’s a marriage made in heaven.

It’s also marvelous on hot, cooked pasta, such as the linguine pictured above.

For a quick snack, simply spread thin slices of French baguette with Chive Pesto. The slices pictured above are heading over to Brenda Johnson, my taste-tester. I’d hate for her to miss out on this deliciousness.

Of course, I don’t want you to miss out on the pleasures of Chive Pesto, either. In the comments field below, let me know if you might make this magic sometime soon. As always, I love to hear from you.

Need a copy-and-paste version of the above? Here goes:

Chive Pesto
Ingredients for 1 1/2 cups of sauce
4 cups (or more) chopped fresh “common” (not “garlic”) chives
2 oz. slivered almonds
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/4 cup (or more) olive oil

Toss the chives, almonds, cheese, and garlic into the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are finely-chopped. Then, with the machine running, add olive oil to desired consistency. One 1/4 cup oil with give you a spread-able pesto; add more oil to produce a pourable sauce for pasta.

Serve on crackers, on slices of toasted baguette, on cod or another white fish, or toss with pasta.

Folks, Chive Pesto is about as delicious as delicious can be. Don’t make me beg you to try it.

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Related Posts:
English Cream Scones
Mushroom, Spinach, & Rosemary Tart
Homemade Spaetzle with Herbs & Butter


  1. Brenda Johnson says:

    Delicious indeed!!! I polished off the whole plate of pesto covered baguette slices in no time! (While Kevin and I discussed just how many uses there are for such a versatile concoction!) This verdant blend of creamy textured -full of flavor springtime wonderfulness would indeed be a perfect partner for so many things…. from appetizers to main dishes! Well done as always dear friend!!!!

  2. terry says:

    lol, I knew as I was scrolling down that when I saw the picture of the cheese, the next picture would be of Lily :)
    I have never tried pesto, but the fish with the pesto on top looks mighty tempting!

  3. What a great idea and recipe for chives!! I have SO many chives that I always figure it’s such a waste to not use them more. Thanks for sharing what sounds like an amazingly delicious recipe…can’t wait to try it myself!

  4. Nancy – After you try this pesto, you’ll wish you had even more chives in your garden. Honest.

  5. Tanya Narzt says:

    Sounds wonderful, I can hardly wait! I have chives that are about 1 inch tall at the moment.

  6. Kristen Effler says:

    My chives are bursting….great timing! Thanks for the great photos, the step-by-step and the entertaining ones.

  7. Diane says:

    If I use garlic chives – which I have in OVER abundance – should I omit the garlic?

  8. Diane – Because I used common chives for this recipe, I can’t answer your garlic-chives question with any degree of certainty. But my best guess is yes — include the garlic. Would love to know how this recipe turns out for you.

  9. Cathy says:

    OMG…! Was just gazing at my huge clump of chives after our May 1st snow storm in Denver, looking perk-fect-ly ready for some action! Will most definitely give this lovely recipe a go! Thanks Kevin.

  10. Tiffany says:

    Wow! I saw this recipe as I was toasting the remainder of the bulk almonds I had, so I used toasted almonds. I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it is amazing! Have you ever frozen this pesto? I freeze huge quantities of basil pesto, but I’ve found that the cheese gets a strange taste after freezing, so I usually leave it out of the recipe and add it when I use it. I imagine this would work pretty much the same.

  11. Mary says:

    If I cut the chives now will I still get blossoms this summer?

  12. Tiffany – So glad you tried the pesto and liked it. Thanks for the tip re: freezing without cheese.

    Mary – Yes, as long as you don’t cut the emerging blossoms while cutting the green growth. (I want chive flowers, too!)

  13. Gloria Duy says:

    That sounds WAY better than basil and pine nuts! Have you ever made vinegar from the pink chive blossoms? It is beautiful and tasty.

  14. Joy says:

    Will give this a try! Just one word of warning, don’t give your dog too much garlic, it’s not good for them. Nor is chocolate or grapes :)

  15. Lynne says:

    I was looking for something to do with a bumper crop of lemon grass and experimented with lemon grass and mint as a pesto for fish. It was yummy. It could be make a little sweet or savory. Take your choice.

  16. Gloria Duy – I love chive blossom vinegar, too. My version is linked above. Just click on the phrase “this irresistible elixir” under the fourth photograph.

    Joy – Lily likes to watch me cook, but I seldom let her taste-test!

  17. Sandy says:

    I’m going out right now to harvest all the chive plants in my garden. Just the other day, I was complaining about how my chives had reseeded themselves over the years in my garden. No more complaining! I will treasure every clump!

  18. Holly Jacobs says:

    I was just wondering what to do with all my chives when I spotted this recipe…thanks! It’s awesome. I served it on a slightly sweet whole grain cracker, but want to try it on fish next.


  19. Anna Lapping says:

    My chives are going full tilt. I’ll have to make some of this for sure. I love the idea of using it on steamed (or broiled) fish. Last year I made the chive flower vinegar you recommend and am on my last bottle, so the flowers will be used as well.

  20. sara swift says:

    One of my delights on Sunday is to view your blog and feast on your garden and culinary offerings.
    Only wished I lived closer to not only view the gardens but to sample the goodies. In an ideal world you could fax those luscious goodies to my home in Boulder Co.
    Sara Swift

  21. Pam says:

    I want to know how Lily keeps her hourglass figure?

  22. Judy Pennington says:

    Exactly what is the difference between chives and young green onions?

  23. Candi says:

    I never thought to pesto or chop to save chives or mint before. Great ideas. I’m not big on onion? Does the chive pesto taste heavy on the onion side or do the other flavors mild it out?

    I have mint taking over a flower bed. I’ve got a couple square yards worth to rip out. I’ve dried it in the past. I think I’ll try chopping some to store as a paste now.

    I always chop basil both as a full pesto or just with some oil to save. I keep it in a jar in the fridge. Then when I need some I just spoon it into a bowl and add more oil to thin it out. Saves great. Also, if you don’t have enough ingredients for the full pesto, just blend up what you have and save. Then when you go to use some, just spoon some out and add what ever it needs to finish making a full pesto.

  24. Gretchen says:

    Memo to self: plant more chives!! This pesto is irresistable. Many thanks for the favor of this recipe.

  25. Deloris says:

    Well pooh, I dug up clumps and shared last year and I have one nice clump of chives but they have flower buds. Guess I’ll make the vinegar and then make the pesto. I LOVE I got your email each week to gaze at and want to be your next door neighbor!

  26. Patty says:

    Wonderful. Ate it with pita chips. Then spread a thin layer on a grilled cheese sandwich. The pesto took it to the next level. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Betty-Anne says:

    Thank you so much for another recipe to enjoy springs bounty. I am going to have to invite my sister and husband over for a barbeque and have this as an appetizer. I see you like my favourite crackers.

  28. Bobbi says:

    It sounds wonderful. I do have a question, how do you get your chives to go so tall mine are so little?

  29. Monica says:

    I’m so excited! My friend introduced me to Garlic Chives! We put them on everything. Thanks for the recipe!

  30. Caitilin says:

    I made some right away! Yummy! I wonder if it will freeze as well as basil pesto?

  31. if it wasnt 9:30 pm , i would rush out and cut those chives. yall got me so excited about trying the pesto

  32. This seems like a great recipe for my harvested wild chives that I replanted on my balcony! Thanks for the recipe!

  33. Jan Herperger says:

    This recipe looks yummy and I’ve cut and pasted it into my recipe files to try later on. BUT, tonight I made your Mushroom, Spinach and Rosemary Tart with the Pate Brisee crust and it was indeed delicious. It didn’t Look as gorgeous as yours, but it tasted Very nice indeed! I also make your yoghurt and love it. Thanks for your blog.

  34. wendy says:

    I have garlic chives…do you think they would work too?

  35. Susi says:

    David, Robert, Charlotte and Miranda are SOOOOOOO darn lucky!

  36. Maggie says:

    Yes indeed, sounds scrumptious, I have loads of chives. I make my own
    basil pesto (grandma’s recipe) and was looking for something new to
    share with my garden club. Thanks much.

  37. Ann Honer says:

    Just wanted you to know that I finally made your Rustic Mushroom Tart. it was delicious, and the Pate Brisee was a breeze to make.
    Thank you!

  38. Ann – So glad you tried — and liked — the Mushroom Tart, and that you took the time to write. Pate Brisee is the best!

  39. Naomi Shelton says:

    Mmmm, that looks so good! I have LOTS of chives. I read somewhere an eon ago that it is ood to plant them near your rose bushes to deter pests. So, I did and they have flourished, but I can’t say that I haven’t had any pests on my rose bushes over the years! But I definitely am going to try this recipe.

    Changing the subject a little and speaking of Lily, and of dogs in general, does Lily have a story about how she came to be your sous chef? I am a great dog-lover and am always interested in how pets find their humans. Just curious.

  40. Joann Hutto says:

    Tried the pesto tonight with fresh chives from my garden. Had it with linguini. Even my 7 year old son thought it was delicious!

  41. Rae Gilson says:

    will you send me your blog, this is great!!!


  42. Barbara says:

    Just made the chive pesto. It is insanely delicious. Thank you!

  43. Diana says:

    Absolutely mouthwatering….I cooked mushrooms in butter and added them to the pesto and hot pasta. I will make more next time..Thank you for sharing.

  44. Jackie says:

    A perfectly simple recipe. Too many chives? No such thing! As one of my dear friends would say – tastes like more!

  45. Barbara says:

    Kevin, we absolutely LOVE this pesto, and I was so pleased to see the chives grow back so quickly. They definitely needed a haircut. The chive flowers are doing their thing in a cup of champagne vinegar as we speak. I’m new to your site and everything I have tried has been wonderful, including the chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.

  46. Joan says:

    I have 2 huge patches of chives and always think what a waste as we use so little of them! Now I can make a nice pesto and enjoy those beautiful chives all summer! I too would love the new Cuisinart, as mine is about 10 years old and I need a new bowl very soon. I use it all the time.

    Also, I love your home tour! I grew up in Hingham, MA. There are so many beautiful old homes there. Yours reminds me of the beautiful craftsmanship that old homes have, that is just not available anymore. Thanks for sharing!

  47. krystyna says:

    Keven,this pesto sounds great, I have so much chives and like it,but I can’t have cheese,it is anything else I can use?

  48. Amanda W says:

    Krystina, just don’t add the cheese. Will be just (well almost!) as tasty! I dumped my entire batch over some warm red skin potatoes for some scrumptious warm potato salad alongside some bbQ chicken. Mmmm! Great recipe Kevin! I have had my patch of chives for many many years, and never thought to pesto them!

  49. Bonita Ghess says:

    Thanks all for sharing. I purchased garlic chives as the farmer’s market yesterday. I had planned to dehydrate them IR chop and freeze for later. Now I think I got to try this recipe. So many rave reviews from your bloggers. Thanks again:)

  50. Hi Bonita – I used regular chives for this recipe. I’m not sure how it will turn out with garlic chives.

  51. cathy a fox says:


  52. Katherine W says:

    Got several packages of fresh chives from the food shelf – no one else wanted them – and my own plants are ready to be cut back, so I’m making a big batch of this today! Yum!

  53. Katherine W – Great! Let me know how it turns out for you.

  54. Susan says:

    If I can’t get rid of those pesky garlic chives, maybe I’ll put them to work with this recipe (sans chopped garlic). I also have a tendency to cut the oil & add a little water for consistency. Works good on basil pesto, anyway.

  55. Marlyn says:

    If you plant a chive clump, you will have more clumps next year. They self seed very easily.

    We have a party in early May to attend, that I signed up to bring an appetizer. I’m hoping my chives will be grown enough, to harvest some for this recipe. It looks yummy!

  56. David says:

    Absolutely delicious. I made it using a hand blender and toasted pine nuts instead of almonds. Best thing I have made in ages!

  57. Linda says:

    Served over pasta, chicken, tomato, and mushrooms. Excellent, even without help from a cute beagle.

  58. Rosemary says:

    I substituted whole almonds instead of blanched. Worked fine. Think I would like it better with more olive oil. (used all I had) Delicious! will make it again and try it on the pasta. I am going to try freezing it. Would love to use that abundance of chives that I have.

  59. Maggie says:

    Nice! Love your photo of the Robin.

  60. Mary Jouver says:

    The chive pesto looks really good. Thanks for the recipe!

  61. Jeri says:

    We have wild chives growing all over our back yard … are they safe to eat / use?

  62. Lizzie McNett says:

    Had such as large amount of chives that we gave it a try. Raves from the crowd. Yum! A keeper. I think it might be divine on a good french baguette with slices of summer ripe tomatoes.

  63. Alicia O'Neal says:

    I will try this recipe, looks tasty. I love presto anyway.

  64. Teresa says:

    Bless you, this is my new favorite pesto !

  65. Liz C in Salem says:

    My chive flowers are not open yet. Sigh, I have to wait a bit longer to try this. While living on Maui, I raised herbs for a French restaurant. With an abundance of herbs, one of my fav creations was (flat leaf) parsley pesto. Wow, very spicy…as I expect this will be. Thanks Kevin!

  66. Francess says:

    Kevin, your chive pesto is a fabulous topping for grilled salmon patties, with or without thebun.

  67. Dale says:

    Just mixed this up for dinner tonight. My eyes ran when I took the lid off the food processor. Good way to clean out my allergy laden sinuses!

  68. Sw33tchef says:

    Kevin, I love your website! I’ve been a fan since I stumbled upon it and I must say thank you! Every detail is so perfect. Your attention to your followers is indeed lovely. I appreciate that you respond to all the comments, then often add more little tidbits there! Thank you. I bow to you!

  69. Ahhhh says:


  70. Hello says:


  71. Fred parle says:

    Tried it with other nuts and other oils , the idea is great and you get great experience making Pesto at the drop of a hat from Chives to Wild Garlic to Almonds to Peanuts .However by sharing your Pestos you will make many friends and make your Cuisine more exciting . I use an egg in my Pestos now for more nutrition . Bonne Apetite ! Best yet is Steamed Conger Eel with Wild Garlic Sauce at Zero cost apart from oil and nuts .

  72. Meredith says:

    Made a jar of this chive pesto just now, and it’s so delicious. Going to stock up and make some more for the winter! I certainly have enough chives, they are abundant in my garden, one of my favorite to grow :) Thanks for the idea!


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