Dill is a versatile herb that is easy to find and easy to grow. Its unique flavor also appeals to a large number of people so you will often find this herb in the mix for popular party and BBQ recipes . So how do you get the most from this flavorful herb in the kitchen? Follow the dos and don’t below to get the most from dill.
Do chop your dill at the right time.
Dill is an extremely delicate herb. The more delicate an herb is, the closer to cooking time you need to prepare it. Dill should be prepared right before it is added to the dish to preserve its flavor and appearance.
Do chop dill with a sharp knife.
Using a dull knife will bruise the herb instead of cutting through it smoothly. The result is that the herb becomes unappetizingly dark rather than retain its vibrant green color.
Do use all of the dill plant.
Dill is not one of those herbs where you have to separate one part of the plant and discard another. Simply chop the fronds along with the stems and add them to the dish you are preparing. If the flowers are present on the plant, those are edible too. Use them as a garnish for salads or toss them into your pickle brine.
Do store dill properly.
One of dill’s big flaws is the fact that when fresh it has a relatively short usable life. Dill tends to get slimy and turn to mush in less time than other fresh herbs. This will not be a problem for you if you plan to use it within a few days. You can simply wrap it up in some moist paper towels and place it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator with no worries. However, you will need to extend the lifespan if you have a lot of it. You may need to opt for another method like storing it upright in water. Simply place the stems in a tall container such as a drinking glass or jar, just like a bunch of flowers. This storage method should keep them hydrated and fresh for longer.
For long-term storage, you will want to freeze the herb. Chop your fresh dill and place it in an ice cube tray. Add water and freeze. Pop your dill cubes out and store them in a resealable plastic bag. You can use a dill cube whenever you need to add dill to a dish. The herb also lends itself to drying. You can use a food dehydrator or air-dry by hanging it in a part of your home without much humidity.
Don’t wash your dill until you are ready to use it.
Dill is an especially delicate herb due to the fact that it has fronds rather than leaves. The fronds are soft little tendrils that break and bruise very easily. Proper washing will place stress on them and bruising will speed up the rate at which the herb goes bad. Store your dill properly and only wash the amount that you intend to use right away.
Don’t use dill too early in the cooking process.
Dill is not merely delicate in the physical sense, its flavor is delicate as well. Avoid adding it until you are about five minutes away from removing the dish from the heat. Unlike dill seed, the flavor will gradually fade as the dish is being cooked. Let it cook for too long and dill’s distinctive aroma and flavor will disappear.