I was never a fan of celery growing up – the ants on log, so beloved by afterschool snackers everywhere – were left with the logs licked clean. Even into adulthood, I eschewed the watery, stringy vegetable.
Until a few summers ago when my farm share gave me a fresh head (are they heads?). I fell in love with the fresh, clean, almost spicy flavor of good celery. It’s still a bit early for actual celery in the farm share, but this past week I was offered a bunch of the herb lovage. I read about it when I returned home – it is a hearty perennial plant with a strong celery-like flavor. And its stalks are hollow (I’m thinking bloody maries!).
I chopped some finely and added it to a purple potato salad (1 1/2 lbs cooked potatoes, very thinly sliced spring onions, chopped dill, and just enough mayo to cover it all with salt and pepper to taste). Honestly, I erred on the conservative side after reading internet warnings of how pungent the herb is – but I could have added another tablespoon and had even more of that celery punch. I will definitely plant some next year because (I have to say it!) I lovage lovage.