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

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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:

      http://motherskitchen.blogspot.com/20...

      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_

        STRETCH'S VEGGIE SALAD

        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:
            http://homecooking.about.com/library/...

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

              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              And this one for Spring Green Salad...

              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              1. I love, love, love this recipe for sweet and sour cucumbers with fresh dill, though it is quite summery and not really top of mind since we just had a blizzard in NY! I add some thinly sliced red onion and it is delicious.

                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                1 Reply
                1. re: valerie

                  Oh yes that is good, I know that recipe!

                  Also, only IF and only WHEN I put pickles in potato salad, they are dill, never sweet.

                  This is a nice dilly bread-- won a prize! Good flavor--
                  http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/Show...

                2. it's great in tuna or chicken salad.

                  also a great addition to potato chowder.

                  add to potato salad with red potatoes and hard-boiled eggs.

                  make dill butter to use on toast or carrots and potatoes
                  -you can also do carrots with butter, brown sugar and dill... great combo.

                  mix mayo, sour cream, garlic powder, lemon juice and dill to make a sauce for fish.

                  Assyrian Cheese Spread
                  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Jagic-As...

                  Cucumber, Tomato and Onion salad
                  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Crispy-C...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Emme

                    I also love it in tuna salad.

                  2. Perhaps you could include a recipe for Vietnamese cha ca (like so: http://missadventureathome.blogspot.c... OR http://www.vietnamese-recipes.com/vie...).

                    Or Chinese dill dumplings: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/be... (I've only had dill/pork fillings, never beef, but this recipe looks credible.)

                    In Indian cuisine, I've only had dill in a north Indian dals, but a quick Google search indicates that it shows up in roti and other flatbreads, too, and in dry curries used as a vegetable.

                    And it does alright in a pesto.

                    (Another similar thread here for additional ideas: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/279035)

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: cimui

                      Thank goodness for Canadian Living! I've been looking for a recipe for this very filling, after having had it in a Beijing dabao in Beijing (saucer-sized, steamed in mantou dough) and in boiled dumplings at a Qingdao restaurant in Flushing. Dynamite combination of flavors. (And you know with Canadian Living that the recipes will work.)

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Hey, glad to hear Canadian Living has such a ringing endorsement from a real live Canadian (transplant)! =P I noticed with approval that "Food" is the first, left-most option on their menu bar. Their priorities must be in the right place.

                        They also had this interesting looking rolled salmon souffle recipe with dill fronting the recipe section, incidentally: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/ro...

                        1. re: cimui

                          I've subscribed to it off and on since its inception - their cookbooks are good too. My mom used to send me gift subscriptions (perhaps in an attempt to remind me of my roots and ward off pernicious US influence)!

                    2. Stuffed Marrow (Summer Squash) with Dill Sauce

                      2 marrows, 400 g/14 oz ground lean pork, 1 small cooking onion, 2 tbs rice, 1 egg, 2 bunches fresh dill, 200 ml/1 third pint sour cream, 50 g/2 oz butter, 1 tbs flour, juice and grated peel of half a lemon, 1 tbsp vinegar, salt

                      Peel the marrows, cut off the ends and scoop out the seeds. Blanch for 5 minutes in salted water with a little vinegar then drain. Parboil the rice and leave to cool. Brown the minced pork and chopped onion in half the butter, stirring now and then. Mix together the meat, rice and an egg. Stuff the marrows with this mixture. Lay in a greased fireproof dish.

                      Fry the chopped dill in the rest of the butter, then add 100 ml/2 and half fl oz water, salt and lemon peel and bring to the boil. Bubble for 10 minutes then thicken with flour and cream mixed together. Add the lemon juice and bring back to the boil. Pour the sauce over the marrows and bake in a moderate oven (180C/350F) for about 20 minutes or until tender.

                      Use smaller young marrows rather than the large ones. No reason why this wouldn't work with zucchini either. Sometimes we bake fish using the same sauce.

                      1. I make a gravy with buttermilk, dill and paprika. It's great with meatballs, and would probably be good with seafood, too.

                        1. dried or fresh, I love dill in a salad.

                          recently did some roasted potatoes, then tossed in at the end - fresh dill and blue cheese crumbles - yum!!!!

                          dill (fresh) cream cheese is excellent with smoked salmon.

                          1. Cucumbers cry out for dill -- whether in pickles or a sliced salad with onions and sour cream.

                            Potatoes marry well with dill hot or cold.

                            I make a sauce for smoked salmon that involves whipping some (un-sweetened) heavy cream and folding in dill and horseradish, salt and pepper and it's great.

                            1. A little fresh dill added to a pot of potato soup is sublime.

                              1. French bread.......Butter, garlic & dill weed....

                                Enjoy!

                                1. There's a terrific recipe in Joy of Cooking for an easy dill caserole bread. It's so good as an accompanyment to soup, but I like it most for canapes, especially with salmon. Last week we swapped out 3/4 c of the white flour for rye, and had it with gravlax - sensational!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: WNYamateur

                                    3-layer cream cheese pate. 1st layer: cream cheese, butter and garlic, 2nd layer: cream cheese mixture with smoked salmon and lemon whipped in, 3rd layer cream cheese mix with LOTS of chopped fresh dill, lemon and pepper. Chill, roll into a log, and roll log in chopped toasted almonds. Slice when set for a lovely spiral of white, red and green. Very popular especially this time of year!

                                  2. In chicken soup -- with the carrot, celery, and onion while it's simmering

                                    1. I use dried dill when I make potato salad. I also use it when I cook Brussels Sprouts. I seem to think that pork and dill are good partners.

                                      1. I've made a tasty salad (based on a Cooking Light recipe, I think?), of chick peas, fennel, watercress, thinly sliced red onion, and large boiled shrimp (hot or cold- both are good) with a little bit of dressing of sour cream, a little mayo, lemon, garlic, and a bunch of fresh dill and black pepper.

                                        1. Turkish rice dish:

                                          Wash, soak, and drain 1 cup arborio rice. 3/4 pound eggplant - dice and deep fry until golden and drain on paper towel. Saute 1 large diced onion in some olive oil with 2 tbls. pine nuts until golden add 1 peeled and chopped tomato, 1/2 tsp. ground allspice, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. sugar - cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in drained rice and cook, stirring 3 minutes. Add 1.3/4 cups stock or water, the fried eggplant and finally 1/2 cup chopped dill - stir gently, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit covered for another 20 minutes. Stir gently and garnish with chopped fresh dill.