Unless I want to resort to pesto or salsa , I think I have exhausted all the possibilities for catnip in food. I think it is just too strange of a flavor to be used/substituted raw like basil or lemon balm. Catnip does work well with roasted meat and vegetables, especially when you combine it with lovage. Lovage is in the parsley/ carrot (Umberlliferae)family. It will remind you of those but also celery with a much stronger taste. I like using the finely chopped spring leaves, raw and cooked. It works well in stews and soup. The flavor would go well with fish or chicken, rice or grains. The seeds can be used in baked goods.
Scalloped Potatoes with Mushrooms, Catnip, and Lovage
2-4 medium red potatoes, thinly sliced
1/2-1 cup of sour cream or yogurt ( I used Forager DF cashew milk yogurt)
2 TBSP finely chopped catnip
2 TBSP finely chopped lovage
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
4-6 large mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2-1 cup shredded cheese ( I used Follow Your Heart DF mozzarella cheese)
Preheat over to 350
Grease a square or rectangular baking dish.
Saute your mushrooms and onions until soft, set aside.
Spread a layer of sour cream or yogurt across the bottom of your baking dish.
Top with a layer of potatoes that do not overlap.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Add 1 TBSP of catnip and 1 TBSP of lovage.
Top with a layer of cheese.
Add all your cooked mushrooms and onion.
Top with a layer of yogurt or sour cream.
Add another layer of potatoes.
Top with the rest of your fresh herbs.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Add a layer of cheese.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, until cooked. The cheese melted and bubbling.
Historically lovage is known as a digestive tonic for its warming and stimulating qualities. It helps with any stomach issue. It has been used as a diuretic or to support the body to sweat. This plant is thought to loosen and remove mucous from the lungs. The Chinese use it for painful and scanty menstruation. It is rare to find it growing in the wild. It has a lot in common with Osha, but it is unclear if you can substitute it for that rarer plant. Osha often goes by the name of Porter’s or wild lovage. Lovage is cultivated and grown in gardens. This herbs is more common in Europe. Many of my herbals do not include it. You may not find it used much in the USA.
Contraindications; pregnancy and kidney disease. If you see it possibly growing in the wild or in an urban wasteland, it would be best not to touch or harvest it. People have confused it with hemlock or hogweed which are both very toxic.
Have you ever tried lovage as food or medicine?