Dill is popular both as a fresh herb and when dried. You will find it in recipes from Eastern Europe as well as in a few classic American dishes. It is one of those rare ingredients that enhances a dish’s visual appeal and its flavor to equal degrees. If you are trying to decide which for of dill is right for you, keep in mind that each offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks. We will take a look at how fresh and dried dill compare in the SPICEography Showdown below.
How does fresh dill differ from dried dill?
As with most herbs, the drying process for dill concentrates its flavor as the moisture is removed. One of the main flavor differences between dried and fresh dill is that the dried dill’s flavor is more concentrated than the fresh. As a result, you will use less of the fresh herb in a dish than you would the dried.
Dill’s flavor profile is often described as being similar to anise and licorice but with a bright grassy note.
Drying does change the flavor of dill. While the dried form is still recognizable as the dill herb, the bright grassy note will be further in the background than it is when the dill is fresh.
The appearance of the herb is another aspect that changes with drying, Fresh dill is known for its rich green color. The color is what makes it an attractive addition to salads and valuable as a garnish for salmon and appetizers. Dried dill will not be as brightly colored, but will instead be a darker grayish green.
Can you use fresh dill as a substitute for dried and vice versa?
Fresh dill and dried dill are the same plant, which makes them the best substitutes for each other; however, this does not mean that they are perfectly interchangeable.
As mentioned above, fresh dill is not as concentrated as the dried version. The difference in pungency means that you will have to adjust your measurements when making a substitution. If you are using fresh dill in place of dried dill, you have to use more of it. Most experts recommend three times as much. Similarly, you should use a third of the amount required in the recipe when you are using dried dill in place of fresh.
When should you use fresh dill and when should you use dried?
Both fresh and dried dill can work in many of the same preparations like salad dressings and dips. Use fresh dill in green salads and other preparations that take advantage of its color. It is particularly attractive in paler dishes but is great in any recipe that calls for dill — use it in seafood or in potato salads.
If you are making pickles at home, you can add a stalk to your brine as well. If you are adding it to a braised dish, use fresh dill as you would any other fresh herb — you add it towards the end to keep its flavor from dissipating.
Reserve dried dill for cooked dishes when fresh dill is not available. You can add it earlier in the cooking process since it will require a longer cooking time to release its flavors.