A delicate herb, dill has an anise-like flavor that is milder than that of fennel. Its leaves and the seeds produced by its light yellow cluster of flowers are edible. Dill has digestive and diuretic properties. It is commonly used in the cuisines of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

Whether bought in a bunch or in a tray, dill should have bright green leaves that are soft to touch. Dill grown in a flowerpot or in the ground will have more intense flavor if sprigs are cut when they are starting to flower.

Dill cut with a pair of scissors or chopped with a knife adds flavor to marinades, fish cooked en papillote, cream cheese dips, and enhances the flavor of grilled meats. A few chopped sprigs in a summer fruit salad are a pleasant surprise for the palate. If kept in a bottle of neutral oil, it can add a delicate flavor to crudités.

This herb has a particular use in making Swedish salmon gravadlax, and in English relish and Polish dill pickles. Dill should be added to cooked dishes at the last minute as prolonged cooking causes it to lose its intense aroma.

Dill should be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped in a damp cloth or in an airtight container, so that it does not dry out. Finely ground, dill can be frozen in individual portions, in an ice cube tray, for instance.

Dill is very low in calories: 43 cal (kcal) per 100 g.


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