Dill is a culinary herb which looks like tiny green threads or feathers splaying outward. It usually grows from just one stalk. That stalk can be 3-4 feet tall. Dill adds a delightful freshness to dishes. The French name for dill is aneth.
Although dill looks a lot like fennel tops (fronds) it is not the same plant. They each have a distinctive taste. Fennel tastes more of licorice and dill has more citrus and grassy notes.
Dill weed is the dried version of dill. Dill seed is used as a culinary spice and it is also from the same plant.
Ways to Cook
Dill, like other fresh herbs, has a strong aroma and taste. Its flavour lends itself well to foods such as salmon and other cold-water fish, cream sauces, lemon, eggs, potatoes, salads and pickles.
Scandinavian foods are known by their use of dill both in culinary uses and the essential oils and aromas. (Think of the many anise-flavoured spirits too!) In German recipes, we find dill among potato salads, pickles, marinated vegetables, and cabbage to name a few things.
To many people, dill tastes great with garden fresh vegetables. A classic creamy cold dip for crudités can be a satisfying snack.
Fresh seeds from dill plants are bursting with flavour and if you get a chance to cook with them in their peak in the summer make good use of them!
Fresh dill wilts easily. Store it standing up in the fridge in a small amount of water and/or gently wrapped. Use it quickly. If you are leaving it out on the counter be sure to cover it with a cold, damp paper towel or even soak it in ice water. As with other fresh herbs, dill is best used at the last minute--don't cook it for very long! Ideally, don't chop it too finely either. If using fried dill, rub it in the palm of your hand before adding to a dish to unleash a bit more flavour.