This short-lived annual herb, Anethum graveoleus, produces flavorful leaves and fruit from the same plant. It is from the Umbelliferarae plant family, flat-topped with rounded flower clusters. The extended Dill family includes Anise, Caraway, Coriander, Cumin and Fennel. The dried leaves are called Dill Weed and the dried fruit seed is known as Dill Seed. Dill Seed has a stronger, more pungent flavor.
Potato salad, poached or oven-cooked fish and tomato soup are all natural companions for Dill Weed and Seed. Europeans and Americans use Dill Seed in a variety of pickles – try it in pickled green beans - as well as for added flavor in cheese dips and bread. In the Middle East and Greece, Dill Weed finds its way into many dishes, including stewed lamb, sautéed spinach, yogurt sauces and rice pilaf. Germans love it in potato dishes as well.
Dill is native to the Mediterranean and Southern Russia. This extensive geographic spread demonstrates its popularity in so many cultures. Today, Dill Weed is primarily grown in the U.S., Europe, and Egypt while Dill Seed is harvested almost exclusively in India.
BELIEVE IT…OR NOT
You may not be able to stave off thunderstorms with it, as believed by witches in the Middle Ages but you will be following a 400 year-old tradition if you use Dill in your next batch of pickles. Ancient herbalists recommend Dill tea to settle upset stomachs and induce sleepiness.
Cool Cucumber Salad
Refrigerator Dill Pickle Slices