5 uses for dill

For some, dill might bring up an immediate association with pickles. Dill is an herb that is easy to grow, making it a great addition to any garden, especially for those involved in an online culinary arts program. Dill is traditionally found in a variety of European and Asian cuisines, and has been used through history to calm the stomach after large meals. The herb is part of the celery family and has a taste similar to fennel. Both the seeds and leaves are used for seasoning. It is also a good source of vitamins A and C. Dill loses much of its flavor when cooked, which is why it works particularly well as a garnish. Dill has become an essential ingredient in many pickling recipes, specifically for kosher dill pickles. The herb adds a tangy taste that balances out the sour quality of the brine. Here are five uses for dill that go well beyond the pickle.

1. Add to potatoes: Dill complements potato dishes tremendously. Add fresh dill to your mashed potatoes at the same time you add in milk and butter, then stir and mash to desired consistency. Add rosemary, salt and pepper for a deeper flavor. Dill can also be added to a breakfast hash for fantastic flavor.

2. Garnish seafood: Use fresh dill leaves to garnish salmon, trout or cod. If you’re making a sauce, mix dill seeds with other ingredients that are common of seafood, such as lemon juice, chives, salt and mustard.

3. Rice dishes: A rice pilaf can benefit from a healthy portion of dill. Incorporate dill into an entree of lamb served over a bed of rice. Finely chop up dill with garlic, onions and mint to give a strong flavor to the meat.

4. Soups and stews: Dill is traditionally used in borscht and cucumber soup. Heavy stews benefit from dill due to the herb’s ability to pacify the stomach. The emperor Charlemagne notoriously had dill seed available at parties to aid the digestive processes of overindulgent guests.

5. Flavor yogurt or cream cheese: Dill and cucumber are key ingredients to making tzatziki sauce, which goes great on gyros, omelets and salads. For another take, add dill to cream cheese to create a refreshing bagel schmear. For something even simpler, just add dill to plain yogurt to give it an extra kick of flavor.

Of course, dill is always great for making traditional pickles too.

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