Tried and Supplied’s founder, Domini Hogg, brought me some lovage last weekend. How intriguing! Ever since my interview with Judith Hann (See Lovage And Chervil, Discovering Some Unusual Herbs with Broadcaster and Gardener, Judith Hann) I’ve been longing to try some.
And she’s right about lovage, it’s a wonderful herb, a sort of cynical, not-to-be-messed with elder brother to celery with a strong, spicy, bitter flavour of its own.
What to do with it?
Judith told me that, teamed with onion and garlic, it brought main crop potatoes alive.
But it’s early summer, new potatoes are everywhere, and they don’t need quite such heavy handed treatment.
So instead I’ve tried substituting the onions with peas and preserved lemons.
If you can’t find lovage, you can substitute with coriander.
These potatoes go well with a tomato salad and either white fish, or lamb.
Covered, they will keep warm in the oven for an hour or so.
Recipe for new potatoes with pea and preserved lemon sauce; and lovage
- 300g/2 cups frozen peas
- 30g/1 oz lovage leaves (or coriander)
- 1 small preserved lemon
- ½ a fresh lemon
- 80 ml/⅓ cup olive oil
- A few knobs of butter
- Maldon salt and cooking salt
- Urfa or Aleppo chilli flakes
- 750g/1 lb 10 oz new potatoes
- If you are lucky enough to have laid your hands on some Jersey Royals, put them in a saucepan, cover them with cold water and a generous amount of table salt and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Follow this link for more information about cooking Jersey Royals.
- Bring another (enamel, to take the stick blender) pan of water to the boil and blanch the peas for a minute or so. Drain.
- Return to the saucepan.
- Cut the preserved lemon into small pieces, get rid of the pips, and add to the peas. Add most of the lovage, saving a few leaves for garnish.
- Zest the half lemon, add to the peas. Then squeeze in the juice. Add the olive oil and some salt.
- Blitz the lot with the stick blender.
- When the potatoes are done drain them, and return to their pan. Pour over the lemony pea sauce. Stir to coat the potatoes and slightly crush some of them.
- Serve the potatoes, with the remainder of the lovage snipped over them, and a dusting of Urfa or Aleppo chilli flakes.