Would like some options for using the herb Lovage

I have an enormous 15 year old lovage plant in my garden whose leaves I use maybe once or twice per season. I would welcome some new ideas/recipes for using Lovage. Now is the perfect time to do so.

  • Posted by: X
  • May 9, 2012
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max April 15, 2018
Yes , Lovage has a potent taste specially when it used fresh . Use it sparingly like you would freshly made horseradish . We use it a lot as a dried powder in salad's vinaigrette soup and with potatoes. We take the fresh young leaves , dehydrate them in a dehydrator and then crush them in a metal sieve. We bottle it immediately in small jars , it keep very well all year around . Friends love our vinaigrette with Lovage . Note that the Swiss Maggi company use Lovage in some of their products . In Switzerland we use to call L
ovage "Maggi plant"
Smaug May 8, 2016
Mrs. Grieve's "Modern Herbal: (1930) has this to say:
Formerly Lovage was used for a variety of culinary purposes, but now it's use is restricted almost wholly to confectionery, the young stems being treated like those of Angelica to whch, however, it is inferior, as its stems are not so stout nor so succulent.
The leafstalks and bases were formerly blanched like celery, but as a vegetable it has fallen into disuse.
A herbal tea is made of the leaves, when previously dried,, the decoction having a very agreeable odor.

Also mentioned is an od fashioned cordial called lovage which, however derives more of its flavor from tansy and yarrow than from lovage.
Adrian May 7, 2016
In South-Eastern Europe (especially in Romania where I was born), lovage is used especially for flavoring the typical sour soups (based on chicken, beef or lamb) eaten there, originating from the Turkish cuisine (the same name, 'chorba', is used in all the Balkan countries). The lamb variation is typically eaten at Easter. Everytime I visit the region I bring back some...

SKK May 15, 2012
Your question, incognito, left me with lovage on my mind and I just ran across this recipe from Hunger, Gardner, Angler Cook
mrslarkin May 10, 2012
Lovage is such an aromatic herb. My chef friends stick it in their chicken soup - the aroma is intoxicating.

Here's a sort-of-related thread from last year, with lots of ideas and a link to a lovage cocktail I've made. Really yummy. http://www.food52.com/hotline/1709-anyone-know-where-i-can-find-the-herb-lovage-whole-foods-fairway-found-this-interesting-cocktail-r
LeBec F. May 10, 2012
I really like lovage.when i rub its leaves, the scent stays on my hands for hours! For whatever reason, I find it indispensable in my beef stroganoff w/ sour cream and jerusalem artichokes. And i bet it might be really neat, muddled, in a Cosmopolitan or iced tea or maybe raspberry lovage soda?

also maybe good in a potato gratin or mashed potatoes; a white wine chicken dish......

mainecook61 May 9, 2012
Oh goodness, it is VERY vigorous here in a cold pocket away from the coast. I have three plants (originally started from seed) and one would have been enough! It grows quickly, then kind of keels over and gives up in the late summer heat. It kindly does not spread, like mint, but it's also impossible to do it in. The bright green is a nice tall backdrop (3-4 feet!) in an herb garden in spring. The 19th century midwife and herbalist Martha Ballard made a tea from the leaves to "relieve faintness."
susan G. May 10, 2012
Good news! Thank you.
mainecook61 May 9, 2012
I'll be following this thread too. I have 3 vigorous lovage plants and I am really at a loss as to what to do with the herb. The flavor tends to dominate any dish in which it is used. I keep wondering if it would be tamer as a dried herb. As a green herb chopped into a salad in small quantities, for example, it just takes over.
susan G. May 9, 2012
mainecook61, you've answer a question for me -- can I grow it in NH. Plus the good ideas for using it, I'm encouraged.
X May 9, 2012
Thank you both for your suggestions. I will try the pickled spring onions, as I have all of the ingredients on hand. SKK,on your recommendation I have consulted Jerry Traunfeld's Herbfarm Cook book and he has an interesting halibut recipe with leeks, apples and lovage which sounds promising. I have made lettuce and lovage soup many times, but once per season is enough for us. This may be part of the challenge; lovage is quite strong and assertive! Far more so than celery....but I dislike seeing the glorious leaves and stalks go to waste.
SKK May 9, 2012
Just checked my flavor bible and Lovage is wonderful with corn, dungeness crab, egg dishes, fennel, fish, mushrooms, port, potatoes, tomatoes, shellfish, spinach. Jerry Traunfeld, of our famous Herb Farm restaurant here in Woodinville, WA says he uses them with nettles.

Really thrilled you asked the question because lovage is now in my consciousness and will be experimenting with it.
sdebrango May 9, 2012
I just tested this recipe for pickled spring onions and the onions are cured in a brine and lovage is added. They are delicious http://www.food52.com/recipes/17234_pickled_spring_onions
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