The Ferny Fronds of Dill

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.

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2 Responses to The Ferny Fronds of Dill

  1. Mark Willis says:

    I hate Dill, beacuse it is so often paired with fish, which I can’t eat at all! Yes, I know, I’m fussy…
    You may have misunderstood my comment about broccoli / tomatoes yesterday: I love them both and grow them every year is as large quantities as I can manage.

    • Liz says:

      Perhaps thats why I enjoy it – I love fish. I too am selective in my food tastes which I guess is why I spend so much time cooking – to ensure I eat exactly what I want to eat. I’m very much enjoying your tomato posts! So I take it all back.

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