Dill was thought to be a good luck symbol by the First Century Romans, according to the Food Lover's Companion. The herb has been around for thousands of years and has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
Anytime I work with fresh dill in a class at The Chopping Block, I tell the students that I don’t cook with it enough at home. I really enjoy the flavor of dill and the fresh, spring-like quality that it brings to a dish. Don’t get too excited when using dill, though. It can overpower a dish quickly.
A couple of months ago, I had a student in one of my classes ask me about a class she had taken several years before, where we showcased recipes from our favorite local restaurants around town. One of the recipes in that class was Monkey Bread with Dill Butter from The Bristol. This recipe has been written up in Bon Appetit and blogged about by others. It is absolutely amazing and a not-so-ordinary way to use dill. Of course, I made some for myself and I’m eating it right now as I’m writing this.
Before I went to the grocery store to buy the dill and other ingredients I needed to make the Monkey Bread, I thought about some other recipes which include dill that I enjoy. One stand out recipe is cucumber salad that is ridiculously easy.
Cucumber Dill Salad
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish (optional)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
English cucumbers (about 1 pound), thinly sliced using a mandolin
- In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, lemon juice, and dill. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk well to combine.
- Add cucumbers, and toss to coat. Garnish with more dill, if desired. Serve, or refrigerate, covered, up to 4 hours.
Another vegetable that pairs well with dill is carrots. I found a nice bunch of heirloom carrots while grocery shopping and decided to purchase them as well. Why not? They are beautiful and delicious. Plus, I need to eat some veggies along with all this Monkey Bread! Well, they will be glazed with butter and honey, but I’m okay with that.
How do you store the dill that you didn’t use? I always take the rubber band or twist tie off of the bunch, spread it across a dry paper towel, gently roll it up and put it back into the grocery store plastic vegetable bag. Do no wash the dill before storing. Moisture causes fresh herbs to decompose faster, hence the dry paper towel.
For more ingredient pairing ideas, check out two of my favorite resources in my bio.
Want to learn by doing or watching? Come to one of our May cooking classes; What Grows Together, Goes Together class for a Hands-On experience or our Flavor Dynamics for Demonstration. Flavor Dynamics is just one in a series of classes offered as part of our Cooking Lab.