Lovage / Leustean

Posted: June 14, 2008 in Appetisers
Tags: , , , ,

from www.salescene.com

Lovage is a wonderful, very old herb with properties perfect for today’s healthy lifestyles. Its unique flavor, which is a combination of strong celery flavour with a hint of anise, lends a wonderful flavor to soups, stews, stocks, salads, meat, potato and tomato dishes. You can use it much like you would celery or parsley, but with a lighter hand since it does have a stronger flavor. It is also used as a natural salt substitute, and is said to be an aphrodisiac – hence the name. And every part of the plant – leaves, stems, roots and seed – is edible!

Fortunately for us, Lovage is not a small, delicate plant. It will grow to about 6′ – 0 feet tall in 5 years, so you want to have a nice roomy corner of the garden set aside for it. Due to its statuesque size and solid green leaves, it looks great as a backdrop in the perennial flower garden, and is indeed often used for that purpose. It can also be grown in a large pot, or tub on the balcony. And in a couple of years, you never need to buy celery or parsley again – other than for celery sticks with Chez Whiz.

Here then are in the why and wherefores of how to grow and use Lovage.

So, one plant is enough for a family. It can take partial shade and does better in soil that is fairly fertile and not too dry. If you have a longer growing season, simply direct seed it outside. Hereabouts, start seeds indoors about 6 weeks ahead for transplanting, or buy a plant from a garden centre. Germination takes about ten to twelve days. Lovage seeds need to be fairly fresh, and to make sure you get one good plant, sow at least 4 seeds in a pot. When you move the plant to the garden keep it well watered for the first couple weeks, and feed with a natural fertilizer. The first year you won’t see it’s full growth – it will only reach about 2 feet – but you can begin to harvest at 1′ – 0 tall. Cut stems from the outside, leaving the center intact, and chop up to use in recipes.

Lovage is a perennial which dies back to the ground in winter, and regrows in spring. To keep you in Lovage over the winter, you can dry or freeze the leaves – the latter preserves the flavour – and dry the stems and grind them as needed.

Lovage seeds can also be used. They have a sweeter flavor than the leaves and can be used much like celery seed. A large seed stalk will form in early summer. Allow the seed to ripen until they begin to turn brown, then cut the stalk and dry the seeds. If you do not want to harvest seeds cut the stalk right away; this encourages more leaf growth. If you leave it be, the plant will reseed in your garden.

After several seasons dig up your Lovage in the spring and divide the root, or find and transplant new self-sown seedlings. You can preserve or use the root by washing it, and cutting it into small pieces. Dry the pieces on a screen and store away from light. Or, you can give the root to a fellow gardener to plant and grow their own Lovage plant. A gift that will be much appreciated. The Lovage plant will do much better after division.

Lovage is best used fresh, but you can freeze the leaves and stems. Blanch a handful of leaves in boiling water VERY quickly then quickly throw into a bowl of ice water for a couple of minutes. Drain, place in plastic freezer bags and freeze. The frozen Lovage can be minced and used in cooked dishes.

Add a teaspoon of fresh minced Lovage to your chicken soup during the last 15 or 20 minutes of cooking. You can also add it to hot or chilled vegetable, meat, potato or tomato soups. Add one to two tablespoons of minced fresh Lovage to your meatloaf recipes. Harvest Lovage seeds to use whole or ground in cakes, meats, biscuits, breads, sauces, cheeses, salad dressings, or pickles. Add fresh leavest to your favorite potato salad or coleslaw too.



  1. domne, asta e leustean, ori ce-i?

  2. Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!
    hehe, iote si tu ce-mi zice wordpress…ocazie cu care vazui ca ai pus in titlu si traducerea…si zau ca n-am citit diagonal!!!zau! zau! zau!

  3. sidi2u says:

    No bine ca te-ai dumirit. Tre’ sa descarc pozele de la mine din gradina, surogat de gradina, dar e a mea si am leustean in ea…

  4. io says:

    acilea-i zice lava, sau maggi, si nu-l gasesti in magazin
    ca bine zici, ia sa-l trag si io p’al meu in poza, daca ceva merita poza, apai ala-i leusteanu ! numa sa-l gasesc pîn hatisu de rucola

  5. sidi2u says:

    Culmea, ieri am cumparat leustean la ghiveci si l-am plantat langa al’ din seminte romanesti. Nu m-am putut abtine, l-am cumparat, desi tufa de abia primita de la Cris e mai mult decat suficient pentru cat folosesc eu intr-un an.

  6. georgia says:

    thanks so much for posting this entry about Leustean – i have been looking for the translation of this herb for ages… as my favourite soup in the world is Cioarba Perisoara. So if anyone has a good recipe pls post …. and if anyone knows where to buy Leustean in Sydney, Australia – please let me know!

    • Mirela says:

      Hi Georgia,
      please tell me, did you find Leustean in Sydney? I am trying hard but no luck yet. Thanks,

    • Mimi says:

      Hi la toata lumea ….Flower Power e raspunsul pentru Leustean (lovage) eu am facut comanda prin telefon si am luat rasaduri vreo 14…va dau doua adrese din Sydney dar sa sunati intai….
      821 Hume Highway, BASSHILL(02) 9727 7201 si 27 Mitchell St, ENFIELD
      (02) 9747 5555

  7. sidi2u says:

    Hi Georgia, I’ll have the perisoare soup posted shortly. What’s your romanian connection?

  8. BoMan says:

    If anybody knows a place that sells lovage in the MD, WV area please let me know:)

  9. moris says:

    dupa 62 de ani pe planeta si ” n ” ciorbe de perishoare ” under my belt” , am fost naucit sa aflu ( ABSOLUT DIN INTIMPLARE), ca leusteanul mai ” functioneaza” ca planta nationala in inca un loc, in afara de Romania.
    Sa vedem acum cine gaseste ” the PERSIAN CONNECTION ” ?????
    Yessssss!!!!! the …modern IRAN .
    hmmmm ….mica si ciudata e lumea …….

  10. sidi2u says:

    Australian ladies, I am so sorry I didn’t send you some seeds with my friend that is in Australia for the next 3 weeks… If anyone from there comes to Montreal, let me know, I`ll send you some.

  11. kristi says:

    waw sunt placut surprins sa aflu ca si in alte parti se utilizeaza leusteanul nostru de toate zilele spun asta pt. inca tin minte cu erau de gustoase ciorbele din romania cu leustean la greu dar eu sunt insurat in finlanda la inceput nu mam descurcat sa plantez nu rasad seminte etc. dar mia trimis mama pachet asa am inceput sa-mi pun pe balcon e mai umbra mai rece ca in alte parti dar ma descurc binisor si sunt placut suprins ca am invatat toata familia de finladezi ai femei sa planteze si sa foloseasca mai mult dupa ceva timp am gasit si aici rasad in ferme de specialitate dar ei nu prea stiu ce inseamna lovage [lipstika] dar atunci multumim internetului

  12. lidia says:

    ma bucur ca leusteanul are asa o mare cautare…daca cineva stie de unde as putea sa cumpar seminte sau si frunze de leustean as fi foarte indatorata..eu sint din usa statul connecticut coasta de estemailul meu este apachite2@aol.com..cu multumiri anticipate

  13. ppetroline says:

    Thank you for this information. A co-worker (from Romania) gave me a bag of dried Leustean but couldn’t give me much info. She said she uses in when she makes beans. Can it be grown in Michigan?

  14. locuiesc la istanbul ,dar nici nu am vazut şi nimeni in afara de romani nu ştiu ce este leuşteanul ,doar cind mai vine cineva din romania , poate imi mai aduc citeo legatura de leuştean . oare aici la istanbul de ce nu se gaseşte ? dupa cite am citit este o planta mediteraniana ! daca ma puteti ajuta va multumesc din suflet .

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