Dill

native to: southern Russia, western Africa and the Mediterranean
in season here: late summer into fall
f1606_dillStrip
The word dill comes from the Old Norse dilla, meaning “to lull” — it is traditionally used as a stomach soother and a remedy for insomnia, as well as for headache relief and as a disinfectant. It has also been used to relieve hiccups, dysentery, menstrual disorders, and respiratory problems. In ancient times, soldiers used burnt dill seeds to promote the healing of wounds. Dill is a member of the Umbelliferae (ümbrella-like”) or Apiacaea family, related to caraway, parsley, cumin, fennel, celery, carrot, angelica, and Queen Anne’s lace (wild carrot).

Dill contains monoterpenes, which act as anti-oxidants, and more of those flavonoids we keep hearing about. It’s a good source of calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, and other minerals, as well as vitamin A. Its volatile oils help neutralize carcinogens and prevent bacterial growth, and it seems to help lower blood sugar levels (this is still under investigation).

Dill wilts quickly after picking, but is still good even if it’s a little droopy. Store it in the fridge in a glass of water like a bouquet, or wrapped in a damp paper towel. It’ll only stay fresh for a couple of days, but can be frozen or dried.

Read more:
label-style nutrition information for fresh dill weed
label-style nutrition information for dried dill weed
label-style nutrition information for whole dill sprigs
Organic Facts
Nutrition and You
short WebMD listing

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.

Dill pickles by the jar

cucumbers, washed, as fresh as possible

For each quart jar:
2 rounded Tbsp. canning (pickling) salt
1/3 to 1/2 cups white vinegar
3-6 cloves garlic
3 sprigs of dill
cold water to fill

Pack jar(s) with cucumbers, placing a sprig of dill and about 2 cloves of garlic at the bottom, middle, and top as you go. Pour in vinegar, add salt. Fill to top with cold water. Boil lids 10 minutes and seal. Place jars upside down for 24 hours. Allow to cure several weeks. If a jar fails to seal, the pickles will get soft unless kept cold.

Adapted from: Gerry Wilbert, as told to Dorothy Huffman in the early 1970s.

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.

Dill dip

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 Tbsp. Beau Monde seasoning*
1/2 Tbsp. dried dill weed
1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. onion powder**
1/2 tsp. garlic powder**

Mix together and, for best results, refrigerate overnight. Any raw vegetable can be dipped, and it’s also not bad on potato chips.

For easy measuring, make a triple recipe using 8-oz packages of sour cream and mayonnaise and 1 1/2 Tbsp or tsp of the seasonings. I’m pretty sure you could substitute yogurt for the sour cream and soy or vegan mayonnaise for the regular mayo if you wish, but I CANNOT recommend substituting Miracle Whip for the mayonnaise — the result is far too sweet.


*a proprietary blend from Spice Islands; one suggested substitution is equal parts celery salt and garlic powder.

**These amounts are for grocery store spices; if you get fresher powders from someplace like Buck’s or Penzey’s, start with about half the amount of garlic and onion powders.

Adapted from: Dorothy Huffman, who probably got it from a Spice Islands package or ad.

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.