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Dec 21, 2009 04:05 PM

The Dill Project: What are your favorite uses for the various forms of this wonderful herb and spice?

I know a happy young burgeoning cook whose nickname is "Dill", and I thought it would be fun to assemble a whole bunch of techniques and recipes that he can build into some lifelong "signature" dishes. He likes the flavor.

Dill is also a personal favorite of mine, and I'm hoping for input of ideas on its various forms: fresh herb, dried herb, ground seed, whole seed, and sprouted. It would be neat if folks specify which of those forms they are using in the various dishes.

I use both herb (dried or fresh) and seed (coarse or fine ground) in the major mayo-based salads: tuna, chicken, egg, and potato.

I've seen dill seed in Indian grocers. There must be a whole group of dishes in that cuisine that I'm not aware of. Goes the same for my ignorance of northern European dill dishes.

Looking forward to your input. My goal is to provide him with an overall manual, a series of links, and a few bags of dried dill weed and seed to get him started.

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  1. I grew dill back in the summer and harvested both fresh & the seed, both which I dried..I used the dried dill in my okra pickles that I canned..haven't used the seed yet but my attention at the moment is to use it in some type of seafood rub

    1. Does your friend Dill hang around with Scout and Jem? Just checking...anyway, here's my kosher dill pickles:

      2 Replies
      1. re: momskitchen

        I offer a cold veggie salad recipe that I love (don't let the use of frozen mixed veggies turn you off; this is the only time I use them_


        one 14oz bag frozen mixed veggies
        1/2 c peeled, quartered and diced cucumber
        1 tomato, chopped
        1/2 red onion, diced
        3oz jar artichoke hearts, chopped
        half a 2 1/4 oz can chopped black olives, drained
        3 T mayo
        3/8 c WISHBONE Italian dressing
        1/4 t garlic powder
        3 (or more) t chopped fresh dill

        Place frozen veggies in pot with enough water to cover. Bring to boil, then pour into collander and rinse with cold water. Drain. Blend with remaining ingredients and chill several hours.

        1. re: momskitchen

          That's one of his favorite movies, and at times he can be a ham. Big fan of Peck and Duvall.

        2. I add dill to spaetzle when I'm serving it with fish.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bigfellow

            Dill .. the taste of summer. Fresh is absolutely best.

            * Cold mustard sauce for gravlax and cold Dungeness crab (like an oil and vinegar dressing, French mustard, and plenty of freshly chopped dill. Should have a pinch of sugar.)

            *Clipped over small new boiled potatoes in their skins, coarse salt, butter

            *White sauce for stewed lamb or poached beef, add lots of dill after poaching with the flowered heads (fresh)

            *The whole crowns: Make a poaching liquid with salt and dill crowns. A bit of pepper. A pinch of sugar. Boil shrimp in the shell, remove and cool.

            Generally, in Sweden, we added dill to most any fish dish, especially various forms of salmon. Assorted herring recipes. Seafood.

            Never the dried -- looses too much in flavor. Reminds me of dried grass, actually.

            1. re: birgator

              I had to look up what dill crowns were (not commonly sold in my city's markets AFAIK) and this whole world of cooking with them has just been gloriously revealed to me for the first time.

              (That's a long winded way of saying "thank you". :)

              Are there any downsides to using dill crowns in place of dill? The flavor is stronger according to something I read, but are the mature crowns also bitter or tough in some way? Sounds like in most recipes, you'd fish out the crowns and not eat them, whereas you'd often leave the feathery, young tendrils in.

          2. I use dill, fresh weed, whole and ground seed for lots of things: in salmon, poached, cakes, grilled and cured with lemon and white wine, in compound butters for any fish, in sauces like white sauce and butter sauces for seafood, in court bouillon, for seafood, breads and bread sticks, savory scones and bisquits with cheese, croutons, all kinds of pickles, including my favorite half sours, dressing for salads and dips, as a flavoring with cheese spreads, sauerkraut soup with pork, egg dishes like quiche with seafood and deviled eggs, for all kinds of vegetables dishes, like radishes with butter dill and a little red wine vinegar and marinated cucumbers with creme fraiche, in Greek vegetable dishes with peppers, eggplant and tomatoes, with rice, spinach and feta (recipe below,) soups like potato, cold cucumber and seafood chowders. The seed is good ground as a salt substitute, used in rubs for fish, lamb and even beef, and use the flowering heads with the seeds for making beautiful flavored vinegars and oils.

            The seeds brewed for tea are good to soothe an upset stomach or to expell gas. A mild tea made from the seeds can be used for colic in infants. The seeds, taken with white wine, clean the palate and freshen the breath, or so thought the Greeks.

            From my recipe file:
            Spinach and Rice with Dill (Spanakorizo)
            ■1/3 cup good flavored olive oil
            ■2 onions, diced
            ■2 pounds fresh spinach, washed, dried and destemmed
            ■1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce, or homemade sauce
            ■2 cups water or vegetable stock, or sub 1/2 cup white wine
            ■1 tablespoon fresh dill weed or more, to taste, minced
            ■1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, minced
            ■to taste, salt and pepper
            ■1/2 cup uncooked white rice
            ■Feta cheese, crumbled, optional garnish
            ■freshly squeezed lemon juice, optional garnish
            Sprinkle some crumbled Feta cheese and squeeze fresh lemon juice over the dish after it's cooked.

            Serves 4

            Preparation Instructions
            Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions in the oil until soft and translucent.

            Add spinach, and cook stirring for a few minutes. Then, pour in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil, and season with parsley, dill, salt and pepper.

            Stir in rice, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes (or until rice is tender). Add more water or stock if necessary. Can be baked in the oven, like a pilaf.

            I used to work with a chef who told me he hated dill. What's to hate?

            Hee's a link with many, many recipes for dill:

            1. I love this recipe from Epicurious for Mushroom Barley soup with dill....


              And this one for Spring Green Salad...