A collection of seasonal recipes and stories

creamy scrambled eggs with chives

In the garden there are chives. I noticed them a few weeks ago on my way to the basement, tiny tendrils of green struggling to break through a tangled mass of weeds. I don’t deserve these chives. Last summer I planted nothing. I watched as weeds licked tentatively at the edges of the perennial bed and then swiftly claimed it as their own. I renovated my kitchen. I planned an August wedding. I neglected the garden and let the weeds go to seed. They grew so thick and consumed the garden so completely that I was stunned to see the chives emerge this spring, perennial though they are. “Oh my goodness, chives,” I whispered in wonder. I’m like this in the garden sometimes. You plant things; they grow. Despite the simple logic inherent in that process, I continue to be amazed and humbled by the divine beauty of it all.

And so, thusly bowled over by the presence of chives, I abandoned whatever task had sent me to the basement in the first place and knelt beside them on the newly-thawed ground to free the chives from their suffocating tangle of weeds. I yanked weeds from the cold, loamy soil until my fingers were nearly numb. I wrestled with tap roots and rhizomes and perniciously creeping root systems until the entire perennial bed was clear. I might have accidentally uprooted some asparagus. Also, I was wearing my pajamas at the time. If you had asked me even five years ago if I could envision a future in which I did yard work in my slippers, I would have laughed you right out of town. And yet there I was, dirt-streaked and be-flanneled in the gathering dusk. For the love of chives.

This morning I snipped a handful of chives and folded them into scrambled eggs. I’ve been eating scrambled eggs all my life — the quick and dirty kind, whisked into a frothy frenzy and scrambled in seconds over high heat. I like those eggs, but these are not those eggs. These eggs are soft and slow and creamy, stirred more than scrambled in a satisfyingly leisurely process that results in dense, luxurious curds. The chives impart a delicate onion flavor and herbaceous springy freshness to the richly creamy eggs, and the whole thing comes together in a perfectly lovely homage to the perennial nature of nature.

Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Chives
adapted from Jerry Traunfield’s The Herbfarm Cookbook and Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking
serves 1
printable recipe

3 eggs
1/8 tsp. table salt
pinch of white pepper
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. cream cheese, cut into small bits
2 Tbsp. chives, minced

Whisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper until just combined. Melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan (yes, saucepan). When the butter has melted, add the cream cheese to the pan and then stir in the eggs.

Cook the eggs over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will appear that nothing is happening. Such is the nature of low and slow cooking.

After about 5 minutes, the eggs will begin to form small curds and the cream cheese will begin melting. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring frequently (maybe almost constantly depending on how hot the bottom of your pan is) to break up the curds and prevent any egg from sticking to the pan.

When the eggs are nearly cooked through but still runny, fold in the chives, reserving some for garnish. Continue cooking to desired doneness. Remove from heat and serve over toast. Sprinkle with reserved chives.

13 responses

  1. love it. just bought local eggs … finally a recipe that merits them

    April 25, 2011 at 7:32 am

  2. Looks and sounds fantastic!! How great that you found an unexpected treasure in your garden. What gorgeous photos….so inspiring! Can’t wait to see what other unexpected gifts will appear in you garden as it continues to warm up – you just never know.

    April 25, 2011 at 10:56 am

  3. Diane

    I have some neglected chives myself, and a dozen farm eggs coming on Thursday. Thanks for the inspiration! Gorgeous photos.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm

  4. Clare

    I made this for a breakfast guest last friday – delicious! Cooking the eggs slowly really makes a difference.

    May 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm

  5. Donna & Diane & Clare: Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Slow cooking, while admittedly slow, makes for some pretty amazing eggs.

    May 2, 2011 at 8:42 pm

  6. Lulu

    A boyfriend I had years ago used to make scrambled eggs with cut up Philly and Chive cream cheese in them, which he called “special eggs”. This is like the classy version of his recipe. :-)

    May 3, 2011 at 6:16 am

  7. What a lovely dinner!! I had to smile when you were talking about being outside in your pajamas and slippers while getting the chives! Hey…I’m sure it was worth it! :)

    By the way, I just wanted to let you know that I passed on an award to you. :)

    May 6, 2011 at 12:17 am

    • Hi, Sheila! Thanks for your visit and for the award. So kind! I don’t often venture outside in my pajamas, but I was distracted by the chives.

      May 23, 2011 at 9:11 pm

  8. Just discovered your blog through Sheila’s blog. Had to check it out because of the name!!

    I might be having scrambled eggs for my tea! :)

    May 10, 2011 at 10:33 am

  9. michelle091

    You have such beautiful photography! This sounds so good.
    I’m planning on making it as soon as I can get my hands on some chives.

    June 11, 2011 at 1:07 am

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