Herb Profile: Dill (Anethum graveolens)
Dill is a mouthwatering aromatic herb of the carrot, or Apiaceae family. Its leaves, flowers, and seeds all lend their unique pungent flavor to a variety of foods, from fish, to potatoes, to creamy sauces and dressings, to pickles. It grows well either from seed or started in the greenhouse. It's a welcome companion plant to cabbage and cucumbers, and attracts pollinators like a pro.
While often only thought of as a culinary herb, dill has many wonderful medicinal actions as well. Western herbalists use dill to support healthy breast milk production, ease menstrual complaints, settle the stomach, and calm the nerves. Like it's close relative fennel, the seeds and leaves can be used to ease flatulence.
Dill is so soft and tender that it should be used right away or dried for best results. We don't recommend refrigeration - simply add the stems to a cup of water in a low light area on the counter and use within 1-2 days.
I prefer cooking with dried lavender, simply because it's easy to remove the crisp dried leaves from the stems by rubbing them together. This can go anywhere you would use dried thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc. Teas are also made from the dried plant. Fresh lavender can be used whole and fresh to infuse honey, butter, oil, vinegar, or soups.
Slide two fingers down the stem from the top to remove the leaves and finely chop. If infusing into a liquid and a light flavoring is desired, you can simply put the whole stems into the vessel and pour the liquid over it.
Use 1 tsp per serving for tea, or mix into dishes as a spice. Don't be afraid to be creative with flavors!
The Gift of Healing Herbs by Robin Rose Bennett
The Rodale Encyclopida of Herbs
Asparagus to Zucchini by Fairshare Coalition
Produce: A fruit and vegetable lover's guide by Bruce Beck
Our own experience!