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A Yard-Full of Dill

My parents have been trying to grow dill for years. Now that they have committed to getting their garden relandscaped, the dill has finally decided to make an appearance. Landscaping begins at end of the month (too early for cukes for pickle-making in their neck of the woods) and they really want to use as much of it as possible. They're making salmon with dill tonight. Any other recommendations? Anything that will save (preserves or freezables?)

Any and all recommendations welcome -- bonus points for recipes!

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  1. Hungarian Mushroom Soup from the old Moosewood Cookbook calls for a substantial amount of dill.

    1. Silver Palate's tomato dill soup (or your own version), made with canned tomatoes, can freeze for later.

      1. I've read that you can chop up fresh herbs, and put them in an ice cube tray with a bit of water, freeze them, then store them in a freezer bag for later use. Never tried it, but seems reasonable.

        1 Reply
        1. re: keslacye

          Yes, this works. It's not as tasty as using fresh dill, but it's definitely closer to that than dried dill.

        2. Anyone who grows herbs needs a great book called "Herbs in the Kitchen". Some general useful tips for your dill:
          Egg dishes
          Use in poaching liquid with parsley
          Fresh tomato soup with dill
          Dill Mayonaise
          Dilled beets, borscht cold or hot
          Use in vinaigrette or just sprinkle over salad greens
          Russian and Eastern European recipes

          1 Reply
          1. re: monavano

            Too hot here to grow dill, an herb I miss terribly. Dill is essential for gravlax, fabulous in cooking pot with boiled new potatoes with skins, stunning in a mustard sauce (made like mayo from mustard with oil, salt and a bit of sugar to form a thick emulsion) to eat with cold crab, shrimp, any kind of cold fish. Stuff bellies of whole fish with dill before cooking on the grill, use in a cream sauce for lamb, poaching liquid for whole shrimp, etc. etc. Any Scandinavian recipe in addition to the Russian ones.

          2. I love dill! One of my favorites is to incorporate it into a roasted chicken. Put a handful of it inside the cavity with a sliced lemon. Then make a compound butter with lots of chopped dill. Stuff this under the skin at the breast and thigh, and run the rest of it over the top of the chicken.

            You could make lots of dill compound butter and freeze it. It wil last for a month or two.

            1. I love to add fresh dill to lettuce mixes when making a salad. Any fresh herbs taste great when eating a salad. Dill is my favorite though!

              1. Just made the Barefoot Orzo salad with grilled shrimp and feta and it needed a lot of dill.

                I also second the chopping and freezing in ice cube trays - this works great.

                1. Dill freezes well and so does this bread.....

                  Dilly Casserole Bread
                  1 package active dry yeast
                  1/4 cup warm water, about 105° to 110°
                  1 cup cottage cheese (pulse in blender until creamed)
                  2 tablespoons sugar
                  1 tablespoon minced fresh onion
                  1 tablespoon melted butter
                  1 tablespoon dill
                  1 teaspoon salt
                  1/4 teaspoon baking soda
                  1 egg
                  2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

                  Put yeast in warm water; set aside. Heat cottage cheese to just lukewarm in saucepan. Combine cottage cheese, sugar, minced onion, melted butter, dill, salt, soda, and egg in a large mixing bowl.
                  Stir in dissolved yeast mixture. Add flour to make a stiff dough; beat well.
                  Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Spoon into a well greased 2-quart round casserole. Let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or doubles in size. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, Brush top of bread with butter. This is wonderful with a bowl of stew.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Spoonula

                    wow, that sounds great, and what a way to use cottage cheese!

                    1. re: Spoonula

                      Is that dill seed or dill weed? My grandma makes a similiar bread that calls for seed.

                      1. re: revsharkie

                        I use weed - my mother uses the seed and we have good luck with both....

                        oh and don't use ricotta cheese - you need the moisture from the cottage cheese. (....yes, I've already made that mistake thinking I could cut out a step!)

                    2. ...and how many bonus points do I get???

                      1. Spicy dilly beans (a green bean pickle) is a good way to use a bunch up and will be a welcome gift for some favored recipients at Christmas. I'm just waiting for mine to get big enough so I'll have a supply.

                        I have a Vietnamese recipe for fried squid rings with dill. It is an unusual herb in Vietnamese cooking, more used as a garnish but in this case delicious. If you are interested I can post.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Candy

                          Would you mind sharing the spicy dilly bean recipe? The green beans in my garden are getting ready and I have lots of dill growing. We love spicy green beans in our bloodymary's and I hate paying $5. a jar for beans from a gourmet store. TIA!

                          1. re: jackie de

                            I made these last fall using a recipe I pulled off of epicurious.com. Actually, I pulled the recipe for dill beans off the website and then I threw some dried red chilies into the jars at the same time. Worked like a charm.

                          2. re: Candy

                            Dilly Beans. This is an old recipe. I've been making them for over 30 years. Learned to make them in foods class in college.

                            Begin by sterilizing 4 pint sized canning jars and their lids.

                            Bring 2 1/2 C of water to a boil along with 2 1/2 C. white vinegar and add 4 tsp. kosher salt.

                            Take 2 lbs, very fresh young green beans and tip andm tail them. Then trim to fit upright in pint -sized canning jars. Steam the beans 3 mins and then plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain well. Pack the beans into 4 sterilized, hot, canning jars. Place 1 sprig of dill, 1 peeled sliced clove of garlic and 1hot pepper, a red Thai or two or ripe serrano would be good. Pour the hot brine into the jars, wipe the rims to remove and debris, top with the lids gently screw on the bands. Process in a water bath 10 minutes then remove allow to cool, check for seals and store in a cool datk place. If a jar does not seal refrigerate it and wait about 2 weeks before using for good flavor.

                            I know there are some people who will tell you to remove the bands right after processing. If you were taught that then go ahad. I leave mine on and have never had a problem.

                          3. Somewhere along the line I picked up a recipe for a dilled pea salad that's nice and an alternative to the gooey pea-egg-and-cheese nastiness that usually passes for pea salad.

                            I have no idea where I found the recipe, so this is sort of off the top of my head--but it's a simple enough recipe that I think improvisation is fine. You take a generous ration of fresh or thawed frozen peas and put them in your salad bowl. Then add some of whatever kind of onion you like, red or green or whatever, and a few thinly sliced radishes. For the dressing, a little plain yogurt and light sour cream or mayo (I've about lost my taste for mayo in salad dressings, personally) mixed with plenty of dill weed, a little salt, and freshly ground pepper. I've been known to add some other spices to the dressing, too, although the dill is the star of the show as far as I'm concerned.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: revsharkie

                              I make a similar dill dressing in the blender with sour cream, garlic, s and p, and *buttermilk* This is so tangy and delicious, and also sings as a dip, or even as a sauce for crispy chicken (like Nigella's ritzy chicken).

                            2. Dill vinegar will save. Fill sterilized canning jars with with dill weed, preferably with some partially developed seeds. Bring some cider vinegar to a simmer and fill jars. Seal.

                              Dill vinegar is excellent for cole slaw (oil and vinegar type dressing), on cucumbers and in potato salad during the time of year when good dill isn't available from the garden.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Eldon Kreider

                                man I haven't thought about dill vinegar since I was a kid - my grandmother used to make that! thanks for the reminder! it makes the best cole slaw.

                              2. Thanks for all the great suggestions. Passing the thread on to my dad. Esp. hoping he'll consider the dilly beans -- and make enough to share. And the casserole bread too. Mmmm.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: bite bite

                                  I like making the beans because you are working in small batches and it does not have to be an all day production. Make 4 pts. today, another 4 next week etc. I used to give them to friends as a Christmas gift. With one couple i had to give them each their own jar because they would hide them from each other.

                                  1. re: bite bite

                                    My husband's fanstastic vegetarian split pea soup:

                                    6 cups vegetable stock or water
                                    5 carrots, slices
                                    2 cups split peas
                                    fresh dill...as much as you like
                                    salt and pepper to taste

                                    Add all ingredients to boiling water and simmer 30-40 minutes

                                    We just made some yesterday to bring for lunch this week. So good.

                                  2. Try potato leek soup with basil and dill...I think I got the recipe on epicurious. Really good but only uses a couple tbs.