It is a quintessentially gorgeous summer day as I am writing this.
Summer has definitely taken it’s time getting here, and while I can’t really say this weather was worth waiting for, because: “Summer, where the heck have you been?”, but I am really grateful that it’s here now.
One of the things I am finding out day by day is what plants were lost in last winter’s brutal weather. You hold out hope that a favorite plant is just late in emerging, but eventually you have to accept that a couple of your favorite daylilies aren’t ever coming back, the thyme may be too ragged to carry on and that it’s possible your favorite little dwarf pine is a goner too. Bleh.
Still, I am glad to see those stalwart souls that have pulled through, and chives are definitely among that number. Year, after year, they come back bigger and better, ready to flavor any number of dishes all summer long. Right now, it is at it’s best, with vigorous green growth and lots of pretty purple flowers.
You do need to keep cutting it, in order to have it all summer. If you just leave it, it will gradually decline, and the flavor becomes less pleasing. It gets kind of tough too. If you regularly give them a trim, they will keep putting up fresh growth, which is tender and nicely mild. Cutting it isn’t a problem for me, because I love to sprinkle bits of chive over all kinds of things. From scrambled eggs in the morning, to toasted cheese for lunch to tossed salad or pasta for dinner – all benefit from a few snips of fresh chives. This Chive Lemon Vinaigrette is one of our favorite salad dressings.
And then we have these scones. Tender, flaky, beautiful and incredibly delicious. I honestly can’t say enough good things about them. They are super easy and fast to make, because you do the whole thing right in the food processor [instruction below, if you don't have one]. For the flakiest texture, cut the butter and cream cheese into cubes and place on a plate in the freezer for a few minutes before you begin, though cold right out of the fridge will work fine too.
- 2 & ½ cups all purpose
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small cubes
- 4 ounces cold cream cheese cut in small cubes
- 1 cup cold buttermilk
- ⅓ cup snipped fresh chives
- extra buttermilk for brushing.
- Preheat the oven to 400º and line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Measure the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse 10 times or so to completely combine the dry ingredients. *see notes if you don't have a food processor.
- Add the butter and cream cheese cubes to the processor and pulse another 10 times or so. You want the butter and cream cheese to be in small pieces, about the size of a lentil - pick up a pinch of the mixture and rub lightly between your fingers to see how it looks. If the pieces seem too big, pulse a few more times and check again. How many pulses will vary from machine to machine, so go by how the mixture looks.
- Add the chives, distributed fairly evenly over the surface of the flour mixture and then pour the buttermilk over, fairly evenly as well.
- Hold down the pulse button for a few seconds at a time, turning on and off 5 to 7 times probably, until a dough forms.
- Flour the counter, and dump the contents of the food processor out on top.
- Sprinkle the top lightly, and flour your hands as well.
- Knead gently a few times until you have a fairly smooth ball.
- Pat or roll the dough into a circle, about an inch or so thick.
- Cut into whatever shape you like - I used a 2 inch biscuit cutter, but you can just cut them into 2 inch squares, or use a slightly bigger round cutter.
- Space the scones evenly on the baking sheet, leaving an inch and half or so around each one. Brush the top of each scone with buttermilk - this will give you a nice shiny top.
- Bake for about 18 minutes, until nicely browned across the top. You can check to make sure they are done, by splitting one in half to make sure they are cooked through - if not, return to the oven for another couple minutes.
- Cool slightly on a rack, and serve warm with plenty of butter.
I did mention that they are good with lots of butter, right?