To: herbs.teleport.com
Subject: Culinary uses of lovage
From: Henriette Kress <HeK.hetta.pp.fi
Date: Sun, 11 Feb 1996 09:40:54 -0100

In Latin it's Levisticum officinale.

There's a culinary semi-double called Scotch lovage (Ligusticum scoticum). I can only talk about lovage as scotch lovage doesn't grow in Finland.


You can use the root, the leaves, the stem, the flowers, and maybe the seeds too, though I haven't tried them.
If you dig the root that doesn't leave you very much plant for next year but you only need a big plant every three years or so anyway... and it _does_ get big. It is a true perennial, and it fits right into my way of gardening (the motto being low maintenance).

Leaves: dry one or two leaves for one year's seasoning needs for one family. When dry, crumble up and fit into a small glass jar, with a nice-fitting lid. Dried leaves keep for about a year.
Roots: dig in autumn, cut up so no part of the root is thicker than 5 mm, dry (best done in a dehydrator), keep in a small glass jar. Crush when you need it for seasoning. Dried root keeps for a bit over 2 years.
Stem: use it to shoot peas with (oops - wrong list...) or use it as a straw in tomato juice, or similar.
Flowers: use fresh in small amounts in salads.

It's the basic seasoning ingredient in most of the Knorr, Maggi, etc. dried soups, and you can put leaves or root into almost any clear soup I could name. You can also spice almost any otherwise bland-tasting vegetables with a pinch or so of the dried and crushed root or leaves.
It makes a good seasoning combination with celery (Apium graveolens) leaves, and with parsley.
You can try to lower your salt intake by substituting lovage for some of the salt.

A herb butter made with fresh lovage leaves is _really_ yummy.

From: Stone_Haus_Farm.prodigy.com (MRS PAT E SWEETMAN)

Now Lovage...

First the folk lore part :

Herb of the Sun under the sign of Taurus. A couple of folk names are: Love Herb, Love Rod (I don't make these up), Love Root and Sea Parsley.

It was used for hundreds of years in love potions. You should place it in your bath water to be attractive and inspire love. It is recommended to take this bath before going out to meet new people.

From what I have reading, it seems to have originated in the Italian Riviera part of the world. As a tea is is good for reducing water retention, watste removal, a breath deodorizer and gas reliever. It was once used to bring on menstruation so you should never take it, if you even THINK you may be pregnant. Also avoid it if you have kidney problems.

New Englanders in the USA (18th & 19th centuries) grew it and candied the roots to use as a candy and a breath lozenge.

From: Chris CReeve.banyan.com

Seed Cordial

1 t. each lovage, caraway, fennel and anise seeds
2 oz. sugar
2 ½ c. brandy

Steep together for a month, occasionally stirring or shaking. Helps the digestion, and eases gas.

From: Mindy Vinqvist mvinqvist.mta.ca

Source of wisdom:
The Complete Book of Herbs ISBN 1-85967-011-3

Henriette Kress has already said almost everything I know about lovage...the only extra things my book mentioned was that you could peel 2-3 yr old roots and cook like a vegetable to eat, and the seeds could be added to breads and baked goods.

It also cautioned that you should avoid eating it in large quantities, but didn't say why (or at least I forget what the medicinal uses are for this herb).

I really think the folklore associated with herbs is neat and welcome any and all comments on it - posted for all of us to enjoy of course (although I don't know anything myself to offer).

From: Mcleodd.vax2.concordia.ca (Dorothy McLeod)

I tried LOVAGE because I liked the name. I grow herbs in a community garden and before I knew it people from Hungary, Romania and Russia were stopping by to ask where they could get a plant. Bits of my plant are growing all over the place now, and when I trim the plant I know who would like some. They tell me they use it in most soups and stews. It survives winter here (zone 5B) and comes back every year as well as reseeding itself all over.

From: CReeve.banyan.com

Lovage dip

3 hard boiled eggs
½ c. fresh lovage leaves
¼ c. minced parsley
sprig of minced tarragon
1 c. cottage cheese
1 c. sour cream
pepper to taste.

Chill eggs, chop very fine. Mix with rest of ingredients and chill.

Lovage vegetarian stock

4 c. washed lovage leaves
6 c. water
freshly ground pepper.

Simmer about 10 minutes. Use in soups, sauces and stews. Can be frozen.

Lovage Vinaigrette

1 ¼ c. olive oil
¾ c. white wine vinegar
¼ c. chive blossom petals
1 t. honey
1 t. dijon mustard
10 lovage leaves, chopped fine
2 T. parmesan cheese
1 T. lemon juice

Combine all and shake vigorously.

Culinary herb FAQ: http://www.henriettes-herb.com/faqs/culi-2-32-lovage.html