Cooking with Dill
Dill is a popular herb to use in cooking and is particularly good for flavouring fish dishes. The seeds, flowers and leaves are all used extensively in cooking; the seeds and flowers are used in pickles and the leaves (also known as dill weed) may be chopped and used to enhance the flavours of potato salads, cream cheese, soups, grilled meats and fish. Dill weed is also a great complement to egg dishes and may be mixed into dips combined with other herbs and sour cream. Dill seed is commonly added to baked goods, including bread and biscuits.
Dill WeedDill weed, or leaves, has a pleasant light, almost grassy taste and goes well with cucumber in sandwiches, cold soups and salads. When used in cooking it should be added just before serving, in order to preserve its flavour and colour.
The freshly cut leaves can be chopped up and used to enhance the flavour of salads and fish dishes, but also egg dishes, soups, dips and herb butters. Dill weed makes an excellent combination for potatoes. Simply toss the leaves into a bowl of boiled new potatoes with a mixture of mayonnaise, capers and seasoning.
To chop dill weed, snip the leaves into small pieces with scissors instead of cutting them with a knife. You can then sprinkle fresh dill on to salads, or to garnish dishes such as omelette. Alternatively, mix freshly chopped dill with creamed cheese and serve with crackers on a bagel.
Dill SeedDill seeds have a more intense, earthy dill flavour. Used whole or ground, dill seeds add a zest to all kinds of food, including breads, cheeses and salad dressings. Dill seeds are the better option to flavour dishes that will be cooked for a long time. They can also be used to flavour other dishes. Why not try adding the seed to a pan of boiling water with potatoes to add a hint of dill flavour to them? You can also use the seeds to flavour vegetables, roasts and stews. Or you could add a few seeds to a white wine or cider vinegar to make a delicious herb vinegar. Dill seeds are more commonly used in pickles, often referred to as ‘dill pickles’. The pickles can include any number of ingredients, but a particularly popular and good match is cucumber.
Dill SaucesDill is a fantastic ingredient to make the perfect sauce. Dill can be used to make a variety of sauces. But for a simple accompaniment to potatoes and fish, or a salad sandwich, combine a small tub of plain yoghurt or sour cream with 3 tbsp of freshly chopped dill weed and 2tsp mustard.
For a white sauce with a twist, add a handful of dill weed and some lemon juice and serve with salmon, pork, lamb and poultry.
Dill is a fantastic herb to have growing near the kitchen. Its leaves (dill weed) are delicious eaten fresh, chopped over fish dishes and salads or mixed in with boiled potatoes and mayonnaise for a fancy potato salad. Dill seeds may be ground and added to breads and cheeses, or used whole to season vinegars, pickles and vegetables.