Dill immediately brings to mind dill pickles and potato salad today, but it has had a place for centuries in cuisines throughout Europe and Asia. Dill leaves are known as the dill weed herb, while dill seed is used as a spice. Fresh dill is in season in spring and early summer, but it is often grown in greenhouses so it is available year-round.
What Is Dill?
The dill plant (Anethum graveolens) provides feathery green leaves for the dill weed herb, while the flat, oval fruits make the dill seed spice. It’s an annual herb related to celery that tends to replant itself and spread widely, which is good to know if you’re considering planting it in your garden. Dill seeds are used in seasoning, such as in pickles. Like chervil, dill weed is delicate and works particularly well with eggs or in salads.
Fresh vs. Dried
You will find dried dill weed sold in the spice section of the supermarket, but the flavor is a pale substitute for fresh dill weed. If that is all you can source, use more of the dried herb to get dill flavor in your recipe. Dill seed will also be sold in dried form and that is acceptable for all uses for the seeds.