Chives, green onions or scallions ― what’s the difference?
They might taste similar, and you might even be able to substitute one for the other in some recipes ― but they are definitely not the same plants.
Scallions and green onions (not chives) are actually the same thing ― alliums (specifically the genus and species Allium fistulosum). They’re long, green and floppy, with a bulb that doesn’t really bulge that much. Here’s what they look like:
Spring onions, which also look similar, are scallions that have matured, have a bigger bulb and are spicier and more pungent than scallions.
Chives, on the other hand, are also alliums, but a different species (schoenoprasum), and grow like weeds -- and for a few weeks in early spring can be found with pretty little purple flowers on them! Chives are much more pungent herbs, best used diced into smaller doses. Even better, a chive's flowers are also entirely edible, and Bon Appetit recommends throwing them in to add a colorful "oniony burst" to salads and stir fries.
Here are some flowering chives, picked up at a local farmer's market, followed by photos of chives with the flowers cut off:
Now that you're equipped with the knowledge, try out your chives in the recipes below:
- Cheesy Bacon Ranch Pull Apart BreadBuns In My Oven
- French Green Beans With Butter And HerbsSimply Recipes
- Smashed New Potatoes With Garlic And ChivesSimply Recipes
- Grilled Flatbread With MorelsAnnie's Eats
- Grilled Sirloin With Lemon-Chive PestoThe Scrumptious Pumpkin
- Black Pepper Popovers With Chives And ParmesanFamilyStyle Food/Food52
- Roasted ParsnipsSimply Recipes
- Spring Green RisottoAnnie's Eats
- Crispy Buffalo Oven FriesHow Sweet It Is
- Buttermilk Chive BiscuitsAnnie's Eats
- Green Goddess DressingSimply Recipes
- Chinese Boiled Pork DumplingsSteamy Kitchen
- Breaded And Baked Chicken DrumsticksSimply Recipes
- Smoked-Trout-And-Caper-Cream-Cheese ToastsMichael Turek/Food&Wine
- Eggs In A Basket With Maple Bacon, Fontina & ChivesF For Food
- Goat Cheese & Chorizo RollsBurcu Avsar/Food&Wine