Be inspired by ♥ Lovage

Lovage has an intense celery flavour that is perfect for winter dishes. It is far easier to grow than celery and these tall plants provide generous harvests.

Lovage is native to the eastern Mediterranean. This hardy perennial plant, with large, frond like glossy compound leaves divided into diamond shaped leaflets, can grow to 1.8m. The tiny yellow flowers, borne in umbels are followed by oval seeds which can be used like celery seeds in cooking. The plant dies down completely in winter, emerging in early spring.

Lovage requires a rich moist but well drained soil and light shade where summers are hot. It is propagated by seed which remains viable for 3 years, or by division in spring. The plants benefit from generous quantities of compost. Remove older, yellowing leaves and consider cutting back older plants to about 30cm high to encourage fresh foliage growth in mid summer. In a mixed herb garden, mark the position of lovage as it is deciduous.

For cooking, pick the leaves as required. Dig the roots after the plant dies down, usually in the third year. You can dry all parts of the plant and also freeze the leaves in sealed plastic bags.

Called céleri bâtard or false celery by the French, lovage is used as an ingredient in many commercial bouillons, sauces, stocks and condiments. Its seeds are added to liqueurs and cordials, as well as to breads and sweet pastries. Blanch the stems in the same manner as rhubarb, or eat them raw in salads. You can also candy the stems and eat them as confectionery, or use the leaves in cooking to provide an intense celery like flavouring.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

Tandy

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About Tandy

Tandy is passionate about using regional, seasonable and sustainable produce when she cooks. She lives in Gordons Bay in a cottage with her husband, two dogs, a tortoise and a fish. Tandy and Dave are busy building a house which is an adventure all in itself. Each year they visit a new place to experience the food of the area and you can follow along on their adventures.


Comments

Lovage — 32 Comments

  1. I just planted this in my garden! Decided I needed a new herb this summer!

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    • please let me know how it tastes when it has grown enough for harvesting 🙂

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  2. I have never used this heb before & didn’t know of it so thanks for that.

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    • my pleasure Sophie 🙂

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  3. Oh, Tandy, I just totally fell for the name. I have heard it before in Shakespeare or somewhere…who could resist lovage, really? I wonder why it is not sold in the UK much? It must have been a staple of mediaeval gardens.

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    • I also love the name and I am now determined to find some seeds 🙂

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  4. I sometimes see lovage on menus here but not nearly enough!

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    • I have never seen it here at all!

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  5. Lovage is one of my favourite hrbs, I am on the look out for some to plant in my garden. It has such a powerfl flavour.

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    • I hope to be able to try some one day! thanks for the visit 🙂

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  6. Hi Tandy, Lovage is one of the herbs I’ve yet to grow, I must do so some day

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    • I will have to sneak some back in to SA next time we visit the UK 🙂

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  7. celery is the one veggie I absolutely cannot stand so I think I should probably avoid lovage lol. But at least now I know what it is!

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    • Glad I could give you some advance warning of what not to eat!

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  8. Very cool. This is a new one for me.

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    • and for me too Greg 🙂

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  9. OK so where’s the hint???? *sulks*

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    • I love you so much I will send you another clue!

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  10. Just unticking the box:)

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    • the box should not be ticked as I changed the settings – will take a look again later at that!

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  11. I’ve never had a use for lovage, but I’ve photographed it often for books. I think its use nowadays is totally commercial.

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    • I cannot get it here from my local nursery which is a pity 🙂

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  12. I think I’ve heard the name before, but never knew what it was, Thanks for the info, Tandy. You’re a mine of cookery information. 😉 Happy weekend to you xxx

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    • this all comes from a book 🙂

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      • Well, that doesn’t matter. Thanks for sharing. 😉

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        • sharing is caring as they say!

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  13. Thanks for the info on it – a beautiful name for a beautiful vegetable 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    • it is a lovely name 🙂

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  14. It looks like…well, something else…teehee! Sounds super, I think we should make some lovage pasta xx

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    • tee hee! I would love to make some lovage pasta!

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  15. Not sure I have heard of lovage before – sounds delicious and versatile.
    🙂 Mandy

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    • I am going to ask my local nursery if they have any 🙂

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