Lovage is a hardy perennial and a wonderful substitute for celery. In fact it tastes just like a stronger version of celery. It is a native to the Mediterranean and has a root shaped like a carrot and it is a member of the carrot family. Lovage is very tolerant of poorer soils but will thrive in good soils, so much so that you will be blessed with flowers actually forming on the stalks. Lovage can tolerate all sun or a partial sunny location.
The Phoenicians first recognized the medicinal vale of its root, leaves and seeds and the Greeks and Romans were growing lovage around the time of the birth of Christ. The leaves aided digestion, and the plant contains antioxidants. It is called “lovage” because it was used in love potions during the middle ages.
To me, lovage has a strong celery taste with a hint of parsley pepper. Try it tossed into salads, stuffings, soups and stews. Insert the straw-like stems into Bloddy Marys instead of celery.
Virgin Mary with Lovage
This couldn’t be more simpler and it’s very good for you, to boot!
Fill a large glass with ice. In a separate container, mix together:
1/4 cup V-8 or tomato juice
Lemon juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco to taste
Pour over ice, garnish with a wedge of lime and insert a stem of lovage.