Once upon a time, I asked my husband to pick up some herbs for me, while he was doing his usual Saturday run to the home improvement store. The only herbs that I replant each year are basil and dill, since my rosemary, fennel, thyme, tarragon, and oregano come back every year. He returns with basil, but they didn’t have any dill, so he gets lovage. He’s all happy with himself for getting the lovage. I think he’s crazy, I’ve never even heard of lovage. I completely ignored it, it grew nice and tall, flowered, and comes back every year. It’s a pretty herb, but as not a single recipe of mine has ever called for it, it sits pretty much unappreciated in my herb garden. Well, since this is my official summer of the herbs, I did a little research on lovage. It smells and tastes almost exactly like celery and it turns out that what we usually think of as celery seed is actually lovage seeds!
I was making a pot of beans the other day to store in containers in the freezer. I went out the herb garden to pick some herbs for my bouquet garni, and finally remembered to try some of the lovage. It was wonderful! It added a subtle, really nice depth of flavor to the beans. Also included in this bouquet garni are parsley, sage, thyme (the whole time I was singing…”parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme”)(and if you know the song I’m talking about, what are you, old like me?) (and I so wanted to use the rosemary, just because of the song, but I was afraid it would add too strong of a flavor). So, what are you waiting on people, grow some lovage! And if you’ve been using this herb forever, and have a lot of great ideas, please post them in the comments! Oh, and p.s., the lovage is the herb with the bigger leaves, in the above picture.