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Tips for Seasoning Food with Dill

Dill does not make as many appearances in dishes compared to other herbs such as rosemary or basil. However, dill does have its place in recipes with distinguishable flavors, such as fish-based dishes. To season food with dill, follow these tips.

Dill is just like any other herb or spice in that you must be careful of how much you use depending on what kind of dill you are using. Dried dill will impart a stronger flavor to food, so use less of it than you would use fresh dill. To gauge the amount of either fresh or dried dill you should use, try just one pinch at a time. Dill does have an unmistakable odor and flavor, so if someone does not like the flavor of dill, omit it entirely, even if your recipe calls for just fresh dill.

When using fresh dill, you can strip the very small leaves off the stems and chop them finely. Alternatively, you can finely mince the whole stem with the leaves. Dill’s stem is usually not woody or thick, so it won’t ruin your food if the stems are included in a garnish or sprinkling of it. If you use dry dill, you can also finely chop it to release more of its aroma, but this is not necessary. You may also want to try grinding the dill. If you have a spice grinder, this is easy to do and is more effective than chopping per Cook’s Illustrated.

You can add dry dill at any time while making a dish. For example, when making basic fish soup, you may want to add a dash of dill at the end. When baking or grilling fish, you may want to add the dill at the beginning so that the fish will have the flavor and aroma of the dill. When using fresh dill as an ingredient, and not just a garnish, in a recipe, you must also think about how long the dish will take to cook. Add the dill in the beginning, but at the end you may want to remove the stems. If you are using a bouquet garni, which is basically a wrapping, or small pouch made of cheesecloth or other permeable fabric containing herbs. Put the dill inside the pouch and you won’t have to worry about removing stems later.

Add dill sparingly if you are going to be using other herbs and spices. However, if dill is the herbal star of the show, try to use fresh dill so that it will effectively impart its flavor into the food. Dry dill compared to fresh dill is the same as any other dried herb compared to its fresh counterpart; each has its own flavor but good, fresh dill certainly tastes fresher.