Chive blossom popcorn is an easy and colorful summertime snack.
When my father was a little boy, he saved up enough money from his newspaper route to buy his parents a set of spun aluminum popcorn bowls. At that time, they did not yet own their first television and would spend Sunday nights doing skits or playing jokes—an occasion for which stovetop popcorn was always made. My family owns that set of bowls today and our sons (about the same age my dad was when he bought them) insist on homemade popcorn several times a week. In our case, it makes an appearance in lunch boxes, in soccer bags and—yes—in front of the TV on family movie night.
The minute the kernels start exploding as I rattle the pan across the burner, everyone comes running into the kitchen to vote on how to top it. One of us loves the heat of togarashi, a Japanese spice blend. Another family member prefers the cheesy umami of nutritional yeast flakes. The topping we look forward to all year long, however, is purple chive blossoms.
Every June, when the firmer, straw-like stems of our chive plant start to produce those beautiful lavender-colored flowers, we cook with them. I send one of the kids to the garden to pinch the head of the flower off the stem. In the kitchen, we use a dry paper towel to flick any dirt off each blossom and then break them into individual petals with our fingers. The colorful, oniony florets are fabulous sprinkled over eggs, tossed into salad or used to top buttery, salted, stove-cooked popping corn.
This is one take on popcorn that is too precious to be relegated to the kids’ backpacks. My suggestion? Invite a vaccinated friend or two over to the porch and pour them a cocktail to celebrate the start of the summer season. Then quietly slip them the prettiest bar snack in town.
Makes 12 cups
- 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
- 1⁄2 cup white popping corn
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 8 chive blossoms, petals pulled apart
- Pour oil into a deep-sided skillet and place over high heat. Add one kernel of popcorn. When it pops, add the remaining kernels and cover the pan.
- When the kernels start popping, begin sliding the pan back and forth continuously, while keeping it on the heat. When the popping slows to just one pop every 4 or 5 seconds, pour the popped corn into a serving bowl.
- Turn off the burner but place the hot pan back on the stove and use the residual heat to gently melt the butter in the pan. Pour melted butter over the popcorn, add salt and half of the chive blossoms and toss a few times to incorporate.
- Divide popcorn into individual bowls and top each serving with the remaining chive blossoms.