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The Many Faces of Dill

The difference between the dill seed and the weed is one is a feathery, green leaf (called fronds) and the other is commonly referred to as a seed, but in actuality it is the fruit of the plant; both are commonly used in culinary preparation.

Dried dill weed has a sweet flavor similar to anise and parsley with a lighter herb-like aroma than the more pungent tones of the seed. The seeds emit a pleasant aroma with a hint of sharpness and slant more toward anise and caraway flavors. The dried seed is even more pungent after its been heated. Whole dill seeds retain their flavor for up to three years if they are stored in an air-tight container and away from light. After the seeds are ground they will quickly lose their flavor so use only when you need them for cooking.

The famous dill seed is obviously used in the eponymous dill pickle. It can also used in baking breads and for making great potato salad. Try adding ground dill seed to cabbage, carrot, and squash dishes as a seasoning. Dried seeds can even add a punch to other spices such as cumin, ginger, mustard, turmeric and even chiles.

Dried dill weed doesn't lose much potency during the drying process like the fresh dill weed does. But the herb is very sensitive to light and will not only lose its color but flavor too. Add this pleasant herb to dishes at the end of the cooking process to preserve its delicate flavors.

Dill weed is excellent to add to any number of cream base dips or sauces. Squeeze a little lemon juice and you will have a delish-dish for sure. This particular herb is also fantastic to use for enhancing the flavor of any type of fish recipes as well as for chicken. You can amp up the flavor of eggs and veggies with just a hint of dill weed and it works wonders in legumes such as white beans. Dill weed is such a smooth operator with other light herbaceous plants such as basil, cilantro and parsley, especially in salad dressings and spreads.

However, dill also yields another source of culinary use and that is its pollen. This highly aromatic fairy-like dust is bursting with freshness and pure flavor. Use it when elevating the flavor of smoked salmon and turning egg or potato salads into a gastronomic adventure. Dill pollen can be used much in the same manner as ground or powdered dill.

Try this delicious yogurt dip recipe using dill:

Greek-Style Cucumber and Yogurt Dip with Dill-click link