WHAT IS IT?
Dill (Anethum graveolens) is an annual herb in the celery family Apiaceae. It’s commonly refered to as dill weed because of it’s billowy appearance and ability to quickly grow anywhere. Dill seeds are easily recognized by their wide, flat, tear-shaped pods with light brown borders and dark, oak-like centers.
The flavor is a bit of a cross between parsley and caraway, with a just a taste of licorice. Grassy and herbal, this is a perfect all-purpose spice for casseroles, dips, rubs, curries, pickles, vegetable dishes, and stews.
Successful cultivation requires warm to hot summers with high sunshine levels; even partial shade will reduce the yield substantially and prefers rich, well drained soil. Due to the agreeable growing requirements of dill this popular “weed” is grown and used all over the world.
- Pickling ingredient
- Added to stews and soups
- Wonderful topping when toasted
- Topping for baked casseroles
A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:
- I make kosher dill pickles about 8-10 times a year. They’re a probiotic (unlike their vinegar cousins) and we get a good supply of kirby’s year round now.
- A delicate sausage with pork or duck does nicely with dill;
- I grind the seed and put into my salt rub for one of the types of gravlax (lox) that I do.
- A nice smoked butternut squash soup that improvises well with a little accent of delicate dill seed (weed’s oil imparts some unwanted bitter).
Its camphorous properties of dill have made it a folk remedy to improve digestion while adding flavor. As the line between food and medicine is often blurred, dill seeds have been used with fatty roast meats to ease the stomach.
- Dill weed
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