My dad occasionally calls people a dill. I’m not sure if this is a particularly Australian thing to do but just in case it is, it means; a bit silly. I’ve been trying to relate being a bit silly to the herb in my garden and I have to say I’m struggling to see a connection. Perhaps the slang derives from something else entirely, perhaps I shouldn’t think too much about it.
Regardless I enjoy growing Dill. Its a pleasant herb, which is easy to grow and pretty to look at. It doesn’t seem to grow particularly big here – I remember the first time I read Daphne’s Dandelions blog and she was talking about these huge Dill plants – a virtual Dill forrest which was growing wild at the side of her house. My dill is more like pretty little additions which have self seeded throughout the garden – sometimes in the right place, sometimes in the wrong place.
What Daphne’s and my dill do have in common though is the self seeding – and dill is very happy to do that. One thing I have noticed though is that the seed seems to need either some time or a cold spell to ripen before germinating. When I have scattered seed around from seed heads that have developed in summer they don’t seem to germinate until the following Spring. This means that in order to have a relatively constant supply you need to keep sowing it yourself from saved seed. Sow direct as it doesn’t seem to like being transplanted, or indeed disturbed at all.
From a culinary perspective dill is grown for both seeds and leaves (which are also known as dill weed). I tend to use the leaves more often than seeds.
Whilst my favourite combination is dill with cucumber – both in bread & butter pickles and in tzatziki, I also enjoy it with smoked salmon & cream cheese. Today though I thought I would have a bit of a play with it and try it in a walnut tarator sauce to mix with chicken for a sandwich. Now I have to admit that while this was delicious the flavour of the dill was a bit lost in the other ingredients so it doesn’t really showcase the herb in the way I wanted to. Dill doesn’t seem to like to compete with too many other ingredients and then it shines. It did look pretty though.