Dill (Anethum graveolens), has been a favourite culinary herb for centuries. It is valued both for its flavourful foliage and for its pungent seeds. The name "dill" comes from the old Norse word, "dilla," which means "to lull," this plant having been frequently prescribed as a tea to treat insomnia and digestive problems. In the Middle ages it was regarded as a charm against witchcraft. In modern times its essential oil is used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and liqueurs.
Dill is a delightful herb with many culinary uses. Native to southern Europe, it is a staple in Greek cooking. It is common in Scandinavian and German food as well. Fresh or dried, dill leaves add a distinctive flavor to salads, fish, vegetable casseroles and soups. Used whole or ground, dill seeds add zest to breads, cheeses, and salad dressings. The seeds are the best way to use dill in dishes that require cooking over a long time. Of course, dill is best known as a pickling herb for cucumbers, and also green beans, carrots, and beets.
The feathery leaves of the dill plant make it easy to spot the herb growing in the garden. A member of the botanical family Umbellrfeme, dill is related to carrots and parsley. In ancient civilizations, this herb was so prized that it was even accepted as a means of payment. Today, the leaves and the seeds of dill are highly valued both for their medicinal properties and for their culinary appeal.
The essential oils found in dill seeds make it a versatile naturopathic remedy, especially for stomach and intestinal problems, mild. insomnia, nervous ailments, fatulence and heartburn. Moreover, dill is Widely prescribed for many diseases of the liver and gallbladder and is often recommended to treat gastric problems in children because of its mild but effective action. In the kitchen, this familiar herb becomes a favorful addition to many dishes, nicely accenting fish and poultry, as well as potatoes, cucumbers and cheese.
A Cure For Hiccups
Since medieval times, dill has been used as a hiccup remedy. Hiccups are caused by involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle. A tea made from dill can relax the diaphragm and provide fast relief. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. of fresh dill leaves. Cover the cup, and let the tea steep about T0-15 min. When the infusion is cool, drink it slowly in small sips.
Freshly cut dill can be stored in perforated foil pouches in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. When frozen, dill completely retains its ?avor and aroma.
Dried dill is frequently used to pickle cucumbers, cabbage and other vegetables and to flavor steamed vegetables. Because dill loses much of its flavor in drying, dill in its dried form must be used in much greater quantity than fresh dill.
Dill makes a tastey vinegar. Pour 1 quart of white wine vinegar over 2 oz. of fresh dill. Let stand for 3 to 4 weeks.
Dill adds zip to mayonaise. Blend some mayonaise with dill seeds or fresh dill, a few drops oflemon juice, black pepper and alittle mustard.
Dill leaves or seeds can prevent bloating. They are an ideal addition to cabbage dishes because dill can prevent the bloating that cabbage causes
1 tbsp. finely chopped dill leaves
4 tbsp. butter
In a small bowl, cream the dill and the butter. Add lemon juice to taste and season with the salt and white pepper. Spread the dill butter on bread or melt over vegetables.