Lovage- The Celery Herb

Lovage- The "celery" herb

Lovage- The “celery” herb

I love celery in so many foods. I don’t think you can make a decent stock without it. I especially like using  celery leaves. Problem is, often the celery I see in the store has few, if any, really nice leaves. The solution? I grow lovage. It is an easy to grow perennial that has leaves that taste just like celery. Lovage leaves can be used in any dish you would use celery leaves:  soups, stews, stocks and salads. The seeds can also be used as a substitute for celery seeds in recipes. Lovage grows to a height of a couple of feet, except when it is in bloom. When blooming, lovage sends up stems that can reach 6 feet! The stems of lovage are tough, almost woody. While they can’t be used chopped like celery, the stems are hollow and can be cut to size and used as straws in drinks like Bloody Marys or vegetable juices.  I’ve never seen lovage sold as a fresh herb. As far as I know, the only way you can enjoy this lovely plant is to grow it yourself. It thrives in sun, but will tolerate some shade. For a little effort you can have fresh “celery” leaves whenever you want. I also freeze plenty for use throughout the year.

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