Cook's Notes: Recipes for Dill


| August/September 1993



In spite of dill’s inexorable dillness, the fresh herb is sold year round in many supermarkets, which seems to indicate that it is used by many. Yet few people I’ve spoken with over the years have nominated dill as their favorite herb. And when I ask, “What do you like dill with?” the overwhelming response is, “Dill? Yes, well, pickles.” Are refrigerators across the country filled with bunches of dill languishing to sliminess in the farthest recesses of crisper drawers?

Part of the problem may be that people don’t know what to do with the fresh herb when they get it home from the store. Try pulling that dill out the crisper and treating it like cut flowers. (I do this with most annual herbs.) Rinse the bunch well, shake to dry, strip the leaves off the lower stems, recut the stem ends, then place in a jar with a couple of inches of water. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. It will lose a little flavor over time, but not as much as basil or chervil would. Store-bought dill will last as long as week when treated this way; fresh dill from your garden will last even longer if you change the water after a week, but long storage doesn’t make sense when smaller amounts of the herb can be harvested as needed. Dill becomes watery and flavorless when frozen, and dried dill is about as tasteless as dried parsley.

Dill Recipes:

New Potatoes and Peas in Dill Sauce
Dilled Chicken Pot Pie 
Smoked Fish Salad with Dill Vinaigrette 
Dill Dressing 
Zucchini Dill Pickles 
Risotto with Seafood and Dill 

Weed and Seed

Dill leaf, usually called dill weed, is a nice change from parsley as a garnish with many dishes. It goes well with most vegetables and is popular as a salad herb throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It’s particularly good in breads, especially quick breads, and sets off the slightly cashew-nut flavor and aroma of rice in salads as well as hot dishes. Though using dill in paella is unconventional, I find that it enhances and lightens the richness of this complex protein dish. Dill is good with barley in soups or stews, with quinoa, and with several forms of wheat. It goes well with couscous and bulgur dishes—it’s excellent in tabouli. For my palate, dill’s pasta applications are few, though I find it attractive in pastas that combine smoked fish or caviar with cream or crème fraîche.

Dill adds interest to virtually any soft cheese—cottage, farmer’s, goat, ricotta, sheep cheeses such as fresh pecorino, or mozzarella—whether sprinkled on top, incorporated into a dip or spread, or used in a cooked dish. The Greeks, Turks, and Cypriots have all exploited dill’s special affinity for feta.





elderberry, echinacea, bee hive

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