All About Dill

How to Choose & Use Fresh Dill

Fresh Dill Weed
Dill. Westend61/Getty Images

Dill is a feathery green herb that packs an amazing amount of flavor that skirts the edges of grassy and anise. Like chervil, dill is delicate and works particularly well with eggs or in salads.

When Is Dill In Season?

Dill grows easily in greenhouses and hothouses, so it's not unusual to find it in well-stocked grocery stores all year long. That said, it's more natural season is spring and early summer.

Once the weather turns hot, dill, like so many other plants, flowers or "bolts." Like other herbs and greens, this "bolting" changes the flavor of the dill's leaves, making them less aromatic and more bitter.

What to Look for When Buying Dill

Look for bunches of dill with fresh-cut stems and unwilted leaves. Dill wilts and gets bruised easily, so don't just grab a bunch of dill and walk along. Check it out, making sure the leaves on the downside aren't bruised.

How to Store Dill

Once home, store dill loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge and use within a day or two—dill tends to wilt and get mushy rather quickly after it's been picked.

If you want to try and store it a bit longer and you're willing to go to a wee bit of trouble, store dill in a jar or glass of water (like flowers), then cover the top with plastic and put it in the fridge. Inelegant? Sure. But it works!

How to Use Fresh Dill

Because it has such a unique taste, a small amount of dill can go a long way, which is why dill is so good to use as a garnish, especially on Beet Cabbage BorschtChilled Beet Soup, or Cold Yogurt Cucumber Soup.

The feathery texture of dill leaves looks beautiful and a small sprig of dill can add a noticeable aroma when used as a garnish.

Dill is also good in salads and is the key ingredient in giving Homemade Ranch Dressing its unique flavor.

While a delicate hand is one way to go with dill, for those who love it, tossing in a handful or two of fresh dill isn't always a bad idea.

Use it in ample does to add its grassy freshness to this Dill Mache Salad.

For those who truly love dill, more substantive dill-centric recipes include Spinach Dill Pilaf and Braised Fava Beans with Dill.