Dill is a fabulous herb to have in the garden. It's useful for canning pickles and it is a great addition to many homecooked meals. The only problem is that it wilts soon after harvest. Don't worry, the flavor of your dill weed will remain the same and you can prolong its usefulness and keep it fresh for a few months.
The key to keeping dill weed as fresh as possible actually relies on drying rather than freezing the herb.
It seems odd, but it really is the best way to preserve this delicate herb.
How to Freeze Fresh Dill for Storage
Before you begin to store your dill harvest, separate enough out for immediate use and place the stems in a water-filled jar like you would cut flowers. This is an easy way to keep many herbs fresh for up to a week.
When you've selected the dill you would like to store, follow this method to ensure it stays as fresh and flavorful as possible. The frozen herb will remain usable well into the winter. Depending on how often you use it, it may even last until your dill plants begin to grow again in the spring.
Remember that if you intend to use the dill in canned goods, it is best to use both the leafy stems and the flower heads. This will maximize the flavor impact of your herbs.
- Pick the dill at its peak freshness. As with most herbs, it's best to harvest later in the morning after the dew has evaporated as this is when the plants are more flavorful.
- Rinse the dill fronds and flower heads with water to remove any dust and insects. Shake the herbs gently to remove most of the moisture.
- Thoroughly dry the dill by allowing it to hang upside down to main the best shape. You can also lay it out on an absorbent material such as a dishtowel or layers of paper towel. Do not let the dill get crispy dry, you simply want it to lose most of its moisture
- Place the washed and dried dill into an airtight container such as a pail and seal tightly. If your container allows the herb to sit upright, you will continue to keep that attractive shape in the freezer.
- Place the container in the coldest part of your freezer until needed.
You Can Also Dry Dill
If you don't have room in the freezer for a full container of dill, you can also store it as a dried, ground herb. This is a convenient way to add the herb to a variety of food dishes and it is similar to how you might dry and preserve other culinary herbs like basil and oregano.
If you have a large dill harvest, you might consider freezing and drying the herb to give yourself options when cooking.
To dry the dill, simply allow it to hang upside down in bundles for about 1-2 weeks. When the herb becomes crispy and crumbles with a pinch, it is ready for storage. Working over a large bowl, crumble the leaves from the stem and into the bowl.
- It should be a quick task and if the dill is dry enough you should be able to get ground very fine with just your hands.
- Once it is ground to your liking, place the dry dill in a glass jar with a tight-sealing lid.
As with most dried herbs, dill will remain flavorful for about a year.
As the dill begins to grow again in your garden, toss any unused dry dill and opt for fresh during the growing season. Come fall, simply harvest it again.