For Your Garden: Lovage

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Don’t forget that we have our Simple and Nourishing Carnival this week on Thursday! I can’t wait to see what you all have in store for it. Later today or tomorrow I will post the carnival guidelines.

I have a confession to make. I don’t have a green thumb, I have a black thumb- a thumb that seems to bring death to little green growing things. I have had terrible luck with gardening so far, including having rabbits come and eat every little bit of my growing garden. But there has been one delicious herb that even I have kept alive. And I am so glad because we love this herb’s flavor!

Lovage is a very flavorful herb that is a relative of celery. You can see in the picture how the herb’s leafs look similar to celery leafs. It pairs very well in soups and bean dishes, and I am sure in a myriad of other dishes as well. I have a hard time trying to explain it’s flavor. It seems familiar, yet different. Some people describe it as tangy. Regardless, it is full of favor! You will have to try it yourself to see what you think.

The plant can grow to be quite large, so you will have plenty of it to use and share with others. And, as I mentioned, it is very easy to grow (even I can keep it alive and that’s saying something!).

I think that when you are on a budget (and when you are not!), it’s important to have flavorful additions to your meals to make them special. Having fresh herbs from your own herb garden makes you feel like you are rich, even when you are not. This last weekend I made a very simple lentil soup flavored with fresh oregano, chives, and lovage from my garden. It turned my plain, bland lentil soup into a delicious meal. Peasant style, yes. But delicious peasant style food!

I would consider lovage a wonderful addition to anyone’s gardening plans this year!

Here are two lovage using recipes I have on this site.

Garlicky Fiddlehead Ferns

Potato and Pea Soup with Lovage

What is your favorite fresh herb?

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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Comments

  1. says

    Haha… another use for the “weeds” I have growing in the back garden! 🙂 Thanks, Kimi… now I’m going to have to stop weeding, and start picking! 😉

  2. Carolynn says

    Funny how I need someone’s “permission” to use a new herb. I’ve never used this one, and now I think I must.

    I’m not very adventurous or creative with fresh herb use. I think I use the old standards. In order of frequency of use: basil, cilantro (almost exclusively in salsa, so again, not that adventurous or creative), mint (mostly tea or for flavoring ice water), dill, parsley (seldom use it – not sure how other than tabbouleh). Oh! I forgot oregano! I have it, but I pretty much use it only on pizzas.

  3. Coralee says

    I use a great deal of mint, since it grows all year for me. I use basil to season all sorts of dishes, but especially to make lots of pesto in the summer and until the basil dies out. I haven’t tried freezing cubes of pesto, but it’s a great idea that I found in a James Beard cookbook. Try making mojitos with fresh mint, or toss it into any fruit salad, and skip the dressing. Mint is also nice cooked with peas; just don’t overdo it. Rub mint leaves or use mint extract on your temples if you have a headache. Cut mint and use it in a small bouquet to enhance all the scents.

  4. says

    How nice to see lovage popping up all over the place lately – on the Internet and in my garden! I think that, because you either grow it or don’t have it, the fan club is still small. But growing!

    I would be hard-pressed to pick a single herb as a favorite, but lovage is a standby in my kitchen garden. A while back, I even wrote a mash note of sorts to the herb: In Love with Lovage. (Glances at the post. Yep, hard to kill, hard to describe… I see we agree. grin)

  5. KimiHarris says

    Meg,

    I wish I had your weeds! LOL

    Caroylnn,

    There is nothing wrong with the tried and true! 🙂 But it is fun to experiment too.

  6. Julie says

    I’d heard of Lovage but have never seen it or used it. Thanks for educating us. I think my new favorite fresh herb of late is chives. (chives rather than chive-right?) I like the subtle oniony flavor it gives without overpowering the dish. Because it’s delicate it’s best to add it to cooked dishes just before serving. It’s good chopped up and stirred into creme cheese or butter for a great spread. One of my favoite sandwiches is sourbread bread with butter, chives, sliced radishes and smoked salmon.
    Another favorite herb is fresh dill weed. It’s taste is “summer”!

  7. KimiHarris says

    Coralee,

    Yum! Sounds like you have some great meals at your house.

    KitchenMage,

    LOL, glad we agree!

    Michelle,

    That’s great! So glad that you enjoyed them.

    Meg,

    *grin*

    Julie,

    I’ve been enjoying chives too!

    Julie,

    That’s great to know that you were able to find some at the Farmer’s market! Thanks for letting us know. Perhaps others can find it at theirs as well.

  8. Lauri Sharper says

    It’s amazing at how much you think you know about gardening/herbs, etc. and then you hear about something brand new to your ears! Thanks for the post. I’ve been really ramping up my efforts this year with the garden as a means of becoming more self-sufficient – larger plot, new plants, better fencing, sturdier tools….I even treated myself to one of these women’s large sun hats.

  9. says

    lovin your lovage. sounds delicious. I will have to look for some seeds. I think my favorite herbs to grow are anise, lemonbalm, patcholi, tarragon, and fenugreek- and lots of different basil. next week we are planning on getting the spring planting done. I really hope I can find some chevril and now lovage! we had lentil soup today with tarragon and leeks- simple, peasanty, and so good:)

  10. says

    I love lovage as well – for me in Seattle the stalks are just long enough by mother’s day to use as drinking straws for my bloody mary. It’s a ritual! The young stalks are hollow inside and fun to use in that way. A fun surprise for a brunch among friends as well. Loved your post as always,
    Sustainable Eats

  11. MaxInSeattle says

    I’ve only started gardening this year, but I think I’m hooked. I have a flat-topped garage that gets sun from rise to set, and everything I’ve put up there has been doing well–tomatoes, peppers, bush beans, and just this weekend I planted seeds for a “fall crop” of kohlrabi and some little carrots that are supposed to come up little globes (“Parisian Market”, if I recall correctly).

    Lovage sounds like just my sort of thing–easy to grow perennial, something my wife isn’t growing in her garden “downstairs”, plus I think it would go well with a lot of what we cook. Will it grow well in a container? And if so, where can I get some in Seattle? I haven’t seen it in my seed catalogs.

    Thanks…Max

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