If you’re like me, then the word dill should remind you of a delicious, creamy potato salad or a ranch dressing!
Dill is a flavorful herb that’s used in many dishes, one that adds an incomparable freshness to them. It’s widely used in European and Asian cuisines.
Do you think there’s more to dills than their fresh and sweet flavors? Now, you’re in for a treat as we’re going to look into what makes this herb quite a staple in many dishes and how it’s stored!
What is dill?
The dill plant is an annual herb that’s related to celery. It tends to spread widely in gardens. It has feathery green leaves, which are also known as the dill weed herb.
Dill also has flat, oval fruits or seeds, which are grounded to make the dill seed spice. The weed or leaves are then used in a variety of cooking applications and can be used both fresh and dried.
The dill’s seeds are also used in seasoning. Fresh dill is in season in spring and summer. However, since it’s mostly grown in greenhouses, it’s mostly available year-round.
What does dill taste like?
Now that I’ve answered your question, “what is dill?” let’s talk about what it tastes like.
The best way to describe the dill flavor is that it’s grassy. It also has hints of anise-like licorice.
However, once summer comes around the corner and the weather gets hot, dill plants start to flower.
This flowering affects the taste of the dill leaves, and they become bitter and less aromatic.
As for dill seeds, they taste like caraway seeds, except for the fact that they’re much milder than caraway.
Fresh vs dried dill
If you can’t find fresh dill to use in your cooking, then you can use dried dill instead.
You can find it in the spice section in supermarkets. However, the dried herb has a much less concentrated flavor than its fresh counterpart.
So, if that’s all you can find, then make sure to use more of the dried dill in your recipes to get that signature dill taste.
How to store fresh dill
The first step is to look for fresh dills in the fresh herb or produce section of your local supermarket. They should have fresh-cut stems and perky leaves.
Make sure to handle them with care as they’re quite delicate and can get bruised easily.
Loosely wrap the stems of fresh dills in plastic and store them in your refrigerator. Make sure to use them within a day or two before the leaves get mushy.
If you want to keep them for a longer time, then put a bunch of dill in a glass container full of water. Gently cover the top of the jar with plastic so that you don’t ruin the leaves and put it in your fridge.
Use the dill within a week of storage.
Can you freeze dill?
Yes, you can freeze dill. It also freezes quite well!
All you have to do is put the dill leaves in a food processor and blender and finely chop them. Add a little bit of water to the mix so that you can make a paste.
Store the dill paste in ice cube trays and freeze it. Once the paste has frozen completely, transfer the cubes into a heavy-duty sealable bag and store it in your freezer.
Whenever you want to use dill in stews or soups, take a cube out and use it!
How to use dill
Thanks to its prominent flavor, you only need to use a small amount of dill in your recipes. This is also why dill is mostly used as a garnish in a wide array of dill recipes.
Even a small sprig of dill can add the required aroma to any dish. Moreover, the feathery leaves look exquisite on top of a prepared dish.
As a garnish, dill is used on cold soups that have cucumbers, beets, or yogurt in them. It’s also used to top cooked seafood and lamb.
Dill also pairs exceptionally well with cream cheese, sour cream, and other spreads.
Dill is also used in salads and condiments, quite popularly so. You can either use fresh or dried dill to top a refreshing veggie salad or a fruit and veggie salad.
Dill is also used in ranch dressings to give them their signature flavor. It’s a popular ingredient used in tzatziki, which is the traditional Greek yogurt cucumber salad.
When cooking with dill, be careful not to cook it for too long and add it to your almost-done dishes. The longer it cooks, the less pronounced the flavor becomes.
When it comes to dill seeds, however, they provide a rich flavor and aroma the longer they’re heated.
The bottom line
Aren’t dills just divine?
I hope this guide has successfully answered your question, “What is dill?”
In a nutshell, dill is an aromatic herb with a grassy, licorice taste. You can use it in your cooking as a garnish, in salads, in ranch dressings, and more.
Now that you know everything there’s to know about dill, make sure to add it to your recipes!