Friday, July 11, 2008

Lovage!

Bouquet Garni


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.

WHB


This will be my entry this week for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted this week by Simona from Briciole.

11 comments:

noble pig said...

Oh yum, yum, yummy...I love herbs too...and can never get enough...they take a dish to the next notch.

Chris said...

lovage is new for me! Hopefully I won't kill my thyme, rosemary, and oregano beyond the point of no retunr this year. :)

Alonna said...

All right..! I too love herbs bouquet. Keep on the good work.

Kalyn said...

Great entry for WHB. This is an herb I've never used, but I just wrote about lovage for BlogHer where I'm doing a series on Cooking with Fresh Herbs. I'm going to add a link for this post to that right now.

Kalyn said...

Pam, here is a link for my BlogHer post about lovage. I did find a few recipes that looked interesting.

Grace said...

well, i've learned my something new today. i've never even heard of lovage, but chances are good that i'd love it. thanks for the introduction!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

That is new to me!
The world needs more Lovage~

Simona said...

Serendipity in action. Now I am curious about finding and trying some lovage.

Natashya said...

On your recommendation I will plant some lovage next year. I hope it likes Canadian winters!

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Anonymous said...

I have been using Lovage for about 8 years now, when I can find it. Here in the northeast (Vermont) it is difficult to obtain unless you go online and I would rather shop more locally. Anyhow, Lovage is wonderful in soups and stews! The things is does for chicken soup and beef stew! I put in about a handful, equivalent to about a Tablespoon when making a dutch oven of something. Also added are lots of other spices and herbs. To thicken soups/stews crush up some stale bread into crumbs and be patient while it boils. I finally found some seeds for this wonderful plant at the local garden store and plan on getting my herb garden going since we finally have a house.