Spice Rack: Lovage

Description: The hardy perennial flowering plant lovage has a thick, fleshy, grayish-brown, carrot-shaped root from which erect hollow stalks grow 3 to 5 feet in height. The shiny, dark-green leaves on the stalks are divided into narrow wedge-like segments, resemble Italian parsley (only larger), and smell like celery greens. A long-forgotten herb that was regularly cultivated during medieval times, as well during the Roman, Greek, and Chinese empires, lovage has a taste similar to celery but with a slight peppery bite.
Culinary Uses: The leaves can be used whenever celery and parsley are called for, especially in soups, salads, casseroles, white sauces, omelets, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.

Attention Gardeners: Lovage thrives in rich, organic, moisture-retentive soil and is an excellent addition to backyard gardens, as much for its ornamental benefits and pleasant odor as its culinary uses.

Medicinal: During the 19th century, a cordial made from lovage (plus tansy and yarrow, two other flowering plants) was used as a folk remedy for upset stomachs.

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