The herb lovage has an intense celery flavor, and a little bit goes a very long way. Find it popping up now at Greenmarket stands like Eckerton Hill Farm and Keith’s Farm, whose owner Keith Stewart says his crop is bought in bulk by local Romanian expats who use it to flavor sour soups. Another option, preferable for grilling season, is this lively salsa verde recipe from Skye Gyngell, an Australian-born, London-based chef and food columnist known for her fervently seasonal, produce-driven style.
Skye Gyngell’s Lovage Salsa Verde
1 tbs. salt-packed capers, well rinsed
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tbs. red-wine vinegar
12 lovage leaves
Bunch of Italian parsley
Handful of arugula leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Generous 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
(1) Roughly chop the capers and place them in a bowl with the garlic, mustard, and vinegar. Wash the lovage, parsley, and arugula, pat dry, and (2) chop finely, ensuring that there is still plenty of texture. (3) Add to the bowl with a pinch of salt and some pepper. Add the olive oil and stir well to combine. Gyngell pairs this condiment with grilled lamb steak and asparagus, but it will bring a fresh, distinctive flavor to any late-spring cookout. Adapted from My Favorite Ingredients: An Enticing Collection of Recipes, by Skye Gyngell (Ten Speed Press; $24).