What is lovage - and how do you use it?

Farro with broad beans, ricotta salata, mint and lovage

Farro with broad beans, ricotta salata, mint and lovage

The name of this tall leafy herb sounds quaintly delicate, but lovage still packs plenty of punch. Its flavour is often compared to celery - and in French it's known as céleri bâtard or false celery. The German and Dutch common names, which reference Maggi soup seasoning (respectively, maggikraut and maggiplant), give more of a clue to its complexity.

Every bit of the plant - from root to seeds and stem - can be eaten. At Bar Liberty in Melbourne you might find a snack of fried potatoes with puréed mussels and lovage powder, while at Franklin in Hobart it crops up with clams, peas and fried bread. Firedoor chef Lennox Hastie became a fan of the herb working in France's three Michelin-starred La Maison de Marc Veyrat.

"It's got a musky spiciness like cumin and fennel," he says. Hastie enjoys lovage scattered over eggs, or in pasta. "Use it like nettle - blanch and incorporate it into the dough. It gives the pasta a verdant green colour and the flavour carries through."

Hastie also suggests candying the hollow stems and using lovage flowers and pollen the way you'd put fennel to work.

Try lovage in Danielle Alvarez's farro salad with broad beans, ricotta salata, mint and lovage.


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
France leads on food sustainability, Australia lags
08.12.2017
Artisanal Korean ingredients at Table 181
30.10.2017
Adelaide's Ferment the Festival
25.10.2017
The Producers: Fawk Foods
26.09.2017
Meet Your Maker: Tanto, QT Melbourne
14.09.2017
Sydney is part of Airbnb's Flavours of Home
11.09.2017
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Listen
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Hot 100 2015 - Food

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

Women in Hospitality

A new organisation is empowering women working in the hospit...

The producers: Two Rivers Green Tea

A leading local tea exporter now offers his leaves to the do...

The producers: Colony honey

A selection of regional monofloral honeys sourced direct fro...

Liquid gold

We find ourselves inexorably drawn to salt caramel in a jar....

The producers: Atssu Divers

Hand-dived abalone, turban shell and sea urchin.

Making a scene

Entertainer Julia Zemiro notes there’s little difference bet...

Deutscher’s Turkey Farm

When it comes to talking turkey, the best birds have lived t...

Sandor Ellix Katz Q&A

Food fermentation 'revivalist' and guru Sandor Ellix Katz di...

The producers: Alexandrina Jersey milk

Meet the producers of the creme de la creme of Australian fu...

Gamze smokehouse

Bringing local flavour to artisan-made bacon.

Gourmet Traveller Gourmet Fast app

Now, here's a mighty handful: GT's Gourmet Fast recipes are ...

Food emoji we wish existed

What? More than 200 new pictograms in the latest Emoji set, ...

What is jumbuck?

The jumbuck has leapt straight from the pages of Banjo Pater...

Inside Out almond milk

Thicker, creamier milk, with a more pronounced almond flavou...