Dill has a sweet and aromatic bouquet; the taste has a hint of caraway and is slightly, but by no means unpleasantly, bitter. Indian or Japanese dill is thinner and paler than its Western counterpart.
Dill weed refers to the leaf and stem of the plant and dill seed to the spice-like fruit; the seeds have a stronger flavour than the herb-like weed which has a fresher, mellower taste.
- Look for young, sprightly, bright-coloured leaves with no wilting, slime, or yellowing.
- Dill weed tends to spoil quickly because the leaves are fine and feathery. The whole seeds have a long shelf life if kept away from strong light.
Although typically overlooked in French and Italian cooking, which favour fennel, dill is widely used in Russian, German, Scandinavian, and American cooking.
Dill seeds are invariably found in jars of pickled cucumbers.
Crushed dill seeds marry well with almost all fish dishes.
Add a little to a creamy sauce for a fish pie.
Stir some into thick yogurt with a teaspoon of chopped chives and serve sauce with grilled fresh salmon or cod fillet.
Dill is also good with egg dishes such as egg mayonnaise.
Use dill vinegar or crushed seeds to make a dressing for a mixed seafood salad, coleslaw or potato salad, adding a few feathery leaves as a garnish.
Dill vinegar is easy to make at home. Place 30 ml dill seeds in a small preserving jar. Top up with white wine vinegar and close lid. Leave the vinegar in a cool dark place for 2 to 3 weeks, then strain and use in salad dressings and sauces.
Flavour home-made bread with dill to serve with vegetable soups, such as carrot or tomato soup.
Category: Spices and Herbs
Sub Category: Spices
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