Okay, it’s Sunday so that means it’s “Spices 101”. Today is a special two-fer day since I was having computer issues last Sunday. Dill Weed was the herb for last week and this weeks’s spice is Dill Seed. So, to me it’s a natural to talk about both at the same time.
When I say “dill” what comes to mind? I’m thinking one of two things: (a) dill pickles and (b) dill dip. Am I correct? Have you noticed that these two items taste like dill yet they taste different? Let’s talk about dill weed first.
If you’ve ever seen a dill plant, it grows tall and has feathery leaves. Dill plants look a lot like fennel plants. Dill weed is very aromatic and is super yummy when used fresh but you can also use dried. One Tablespoon of fresh dill is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of dried dill. If using dried dill weed, please give it a sniff to make sure it’s still aromatic and hence flavorful.
When a dill plant flowers it looks like this.
These flowers will turn to seed and dry which give us wonderful dill seed. Dill is easy to grow at home but beware that dill seeds are toxic to birds.
Cooking with Dill Weed/Dill Seed.
- Heat brings out the flavor of dill seed. Conversely, cooking dill weed too long breaks down the flavor.
- Dill seed has a mild caraway flavor and hence can be used as a 1:1 ratio for caraway in recipes
- Dill seed is used for pickling and can be used in the ratio of 1/2 tablespoon of dill seed for every quart of vinegar
- Since heat is not dill weed’s friend, dips, dressing, and butters work well. Just mix up your recipe and allow the flavors to blend a minimum of 1 hour.
- Dill weed pairs beautifully with seafood. Other foods that you might like to give dill weed a try include eggs, dairy products (sour cream, cream cheese, butter) along with chicken, many vegetables and cream based soups.
I don’t know about you but dill is a flavor that makes me think of summer. It just brings a fresh flavor to whatever I’m having. In the dead of winter, I love to mix some dill weed into my sour cream for a great baked potato topping. It helps me remember that sunny, warm days are on their way.
So if you’ve never cooked with dill, give it a try. You’ll LOVE it!