Recipe by French Tart
I love my lovage! Moreover, this is a delectable way to use up cold cooked chicken with this wonderful old-fashioned herb! This salad would be perfect for a light luncheon dish or an elegant dinner party starter. I have also made this to take on picnics with great success. Lovage is one of my favourite herbs and I have been growing it for the last 20 years in my herb garden. It is only now regaining its popularity - however, it was a much-used herb in medieval times, and later on, it was often used as a salt substitute. The leaves have a slightly salty, savoury celery-like flavour and are very pungent, so they mused be used carefully in cooking. Anything more than 2 tablespoons of chopped lovage in this dressing will totally overpower all the other flavours - I know this to my cost! An obscure little-known fact! Culinary celery salt and celery seeds are nearly always made with ground lovage seeds, as lovage seeds have a more distinct celery flavour than celery seeds! I am a mine of useful or useless information!
Top Review by Caroline Cooks
WOW, is the yummy or what!! I could not imagine the dressing--however, FT is never wrong on creating a taste sensation--like this. Very crisp and tanging with the sweetness of the lettuce and chicken. A fabulous lunch! Made for FT's Chive event in the French Forum.
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 100 ml glass white wine
- 100 ml double cream
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh chives
- 1 -2 tablespoon of chopped fresh lovage (Or celery leaves)
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of
- 150 g thick full fat creme fraiche
- salt and pepper
- cold cooked chicken, diced (Approx 400g)
- lettuce, to serve
- flowering chives and lovage (to garnish)
Directions See How It's Made
- Dressing: Chop the shallots, place in a pan with white wine & boil to reduce liquid by two thirds. Add the cream and bring back to the boil. then & pour into a clean container. Add the chives, lovage and lemon juice and set aside.
- When the dressing is cool, gently mix it with the crème fraiche. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.
- Place the chopped chicken pieces in a bowl and add the creamy lovage dressing, mixing well, Serve on a bed of lettuce with a few chives, chive flowers and some chopped lovage leaves as a garnish - some crusty French bread would also be a wonderful accompaniment!
- For picnics: Put the chicken and lovage salad into a sealed container and keep in the fridge until you need to pack your hamper. Pack your lettuce and garnishes separately and garnish the salad it when you have arrived at your picnic spot. Serve as a sandwich filling or with crusty bread - don’t forget to pack your knives and forks!