Botanically known as Anethum graveolens, Dill belongs to the same family as parsley and celery, though it is the sole species of its genus. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and western Asia.
In 1st century Rome, Dillweed was considered a good luck symbol. Ancient Egyptians used it to ward off witches and as an aphrodisiac. To the Greeks, Dill signified wealth. Many cultures cultivated it for medicinal qualities, it was believed to soothe an ailing stomach.
Farmers will harvest Dillweed in the early morning. The higher moisture content of the plants, when harvested at this time results in better flavour, and the possibility of seed shattering is minimized. Dill weed is best harvested before the plant is fully mature and before the flower buds have opened.
- Dill can be added to casseroles, lamb, fish, vegetable dishes, and sauces.
- Dill vinegar can be made by adding the seeds to vinegar and allowing the mixture to steep for several days.
- In Holland, Dill is steeped in hot milk to help induce sleep.
Use one teaspoon of dried Dill for every tablespoon of fresh Dill in a recipe that calls for Dillweed.
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