Cooking with Herbs for flavour and health

Part One: Lovage.

When the range of foods that can be eaten is limited by dietary and food intolerances it is really important that it tastes good, smells good, looks good and is healthy.

I have found that the use of fresh herbs and cooking techniques make all the difference. It is possible to create gourmet food that tastes so good you will not notice the lack of onions, garlic, gluten and lactose.

Lovage
Lovage Levisticum officials

Lovage is a perennial herb that dies back in winter. All of the herb can be used. Leaves, stems, roots and seeds. The seeds of lovage are sold as celery seeds (celery seeds are much smaller and do not have much of a flavour). Lovage seeds were once a highly prized commodity and have been chewed as an aid to digestion and bloating for centuries.

The stalks and leaves of this herb have been made into tea and used for treating sore throats, arthritis and digestion. The roots have been made into a paste for use as a poultice.

As a culinary herb lovage is incredibly versatile and can be used in many dishes for its unique flavour in soups and stews. It is an important ingredient in stock making and can be used in salads and sautéed as a side dish.
This is definitely a herb to grow in your personal herb garden. The health benefits are many, full of minerals and anti inflammatory bioflavonoids, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants after green tea. It is also contains large amounts of vitamins A and C as well as potassium..

Lovage Pasta Salad

Lovage in salad
Lovage and Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

Fresh picked herbs for Lovage Salad
  • 150 grams Gluten free penne pasta.
  • 3 stalks lovage.
  • 1 small bunch of parsley.
  • 1 small bunch bay spinach.
  • 1 small bunch of the green tops of spring onions.
  • 1 small bunch of rocket.
  • 2 sprigs of garden mint.
  • 3 sprigs of watercress.
  • 1 bunch miners lettuce.
  • 2 hard boiled eggs.
  • 1 table spoon mayonnaise.
  • 1 table spoon garlic infused olive oil.
  • 1 table spoon fresh squeezed lemon juice.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Method

  • First cook your pasta and boil your eggs.
  • Once the pasta is cooked drain and plunge in cold water to stop further cooking. Once pasta is cool drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking, wash and chop all of the salad herbs. You can vary the quantities to suit.
  • Peel the eggs and chop into smallish pieces.
  • Place the pasta and chopped herbs and egg in a large salad bowl.
  • Add the garlic infused oil, mayonnaise and lemon juice to the rest of the salad and mix well.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

This salad is packed full of nutrition and flavour.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s