Dill is a wonderful plant that is useful in the kitchen, fragrant and easy to care for. Its wonderfully refreshing taste is enhanced by vinegar or lime juice. Dill is an annual herb that is easy to grow and can reach the staggering height of 3 ft! This versatile herb can grow in containers or in the ground and can tolerate poor soils but thrives in fertile soil. Dill is a low maintenance herb that is drought and deer tolerant. The fragrance and flowers of dill attract pollinators and birds. Dill is a sun-loving plant that does best when mixed in with flowers or veggies. This culinary herb also has a variety of medicinal qualities including helping boost immune system and is a natural antibiotic. For example tea made from dill can help relieve flatulence, insomnia and hiccups. Historically, dill was even used to ward off witches (which may come in handy this October !).

Dill can be harvested either for its leaves (dried dill leaves are called dillweed) or for its seeds. Dill has the capability of going to seed very quickly. We recommend frequent prunings during the growing season to both encourage growth of foliage and to prevent bolting, the growth of the flowering stem. The best time to harvest herbs is in the morning after the dew has dried, because at this time the oils in the plants are at their highest levels. These oils are what give the herb its flavor. The leaves can be dried in the microwave, oven or by screen or hanging methods. The seeds can be harvested at the end of the season. Late in the season allow this annual to go to seed. Be sure to allow the seeds to thoroughly dry before removing the umbrella shaped seedheads. We recommend separating the seeds from the seedhead inside a bag to keep the seeds from escaping. After drying store both dillweed and seeds in tightly sealed dark containers out of direct sunlight.

Dill is a fantastic herb to have in you kitchen. Its refreshing taste is perfect for summer dishes and of course for pickles! Here are a couple of recipes to get you started cooking with dill!


Dill Dip

Quick and easy recipe that improves with refrigerating overnight.

⅔ c sour cream

⅔ c mayonnaise

2 Tbsp minced onion or chives

1 Tbsp minced celery or ½ tsp celery seeds

1 Tbsp minced fresh dill or 1 tsp dillweed

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight if you have time. Otherwise, serve at once. Can be used as a dip for raw or blanched vegetables or crackers.


Healthy Tzatziki Sauce

2 cups plain Greek yogurt (full fat or nonfat)

1/2 cucumber

1 1/2 Tbsp fresh dill

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Chop the fresh dill. Peel and mince the garlic cloves. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Then grate or finely chop the cucumber. To avoid chopping, an alternative is to run the garlic and cucumber through a garlic press. Combine all the Tzatziki sauce ingredients until well combined. Enjoy immediately or store in a sealed container in the fridge until ready to use.


Dilled New Potatoes

1 pound small potatoes of similar size

1 Tbsp minced fresh dill or 1 tsp dillweed

¼ c minced scallions

1 Tbsp butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel a small strip around the middle of each potato. Put the potatoes in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with water and boil, uncovered, until tender. Drain off the water. Add the dill, scallions, butter, and salt and pepper to the potatoes and cook together for a minute or two.


Country Dill Pickles

1 Tbsp mixed pickling spices

4 heads and stems of dill

4 garlic cloves

4 quarts pickling cucumbers

2 quarts vinegar

1 quart water

1 c kosher or other coarse salt

Sterilize four 1-quart jars (try to find widemouthed jars). Divide the pickling spices among the jars. Put one head of dill, complete with its stem, into each jar. Peel the garlic cloves and put one into each jar. Scrub the cucumbers well, then place in the jars, cramming them in as best you can. Put the vinegar, water, and salt in a medium-sized nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over the cucumbers, filling the jars to within ½ inch of the top. Seal. Wait at least a week before trying the pickles.





Growing and Using Dill by Glenn Andrews