Dill (Anethum graveolens) and its Uses
Binomial name: Anethum graveolens
Phyllotaxy: Fine green
Flower clusters: Yellow & Green
Height: 0.6 - 1.8m
Width: 0.8 – 1.2
Dill an annual flowering herb and is the only species in the genus Anethum derived from the Greek ‘Anethon’ ‘Dill’ is believed to have come the Anglo-Saxons as ‘Dylle’ or the Norse ‘Dilla” which means to soothe or lull.
A native to Southern Europe and Western Asia it is also found in Northern and Southern parts of America.
Its uses as a medicinal herb date back nearly 5,000 years and plant remains have been found in Roman ruins in Britain, and during the middle ages Dill was even prized as protection against witchcraft!
Early Spring, scatter seeds on top of medium for indoor growing and sow approx. 1cm for outdoor soil containers/pots.
Doesn’t like cold temperatures or growing mediums that dry out too quick.
Very easy to germinate under the right conditions, most seedlings should be up within 7-10 days of germinating, outdoors this could take 2-3 weeks.
Always keep Dill plants separated from your fennel plants as they can pollinate each other changing the herbs actual aromatics and flavonoids.
Dill is usually grown in containers/pots to restrict root growth, in ground Dill will go crazy and is quite difficult to manage once it spreads.
Like every single plant in nature, this one is no different, it contains an un-synthesized for of medication that’s quite beneficial to our health.
- Promotes Breast-Milk Flow
- Remedy for Hiccups
- Upset Stomachs
- Appetite stimulant
It is also a constituent of Gripe Water which is commonly given to infants for things like Colic, teething and general unrest.
Culinary Uses - Simple Recipes with Dill
Greek Cabbage Salad with Kefalograviera Cheese
- 1/4 cup (60ml) balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup (185ml) extra virgin olive oil
- salt flakes and cracked pepper
- 1/4 purple cabbage, finely shredded
- 1/4 drumhead cabbage, finely shredded
- 2-3 golden shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons dill sprigs
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 100g kefalograviera cheese
Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and honey until the honey has dissolved, then whisk in the mustard and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss together the shredded cabbage, shallot, herbs and dressing. Season and transfer to a serving dish. Finely grate the kefalograviera over the top generously and serve.
Recipe credit: Greek by George Calombaris
Potato salad with crème fraîche, onion, purslane and dill
- 24 small chat potatoes, scrubbed
- 250 gm crème fraîche
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp finely grated lemon rind
- 1 small Tuscan red onion, cut into thin rings, placed in iced water for 5 minutes (see note)
- 1 cup dill sprigs
- 2 cups each watercress and purslane
- 2 tsp baby capers in salt, rinsed, drained
Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until tender (10-20 minutes). Drain, then set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, combine crème fraîche, lemon juice and rind in a small bowl, season to taste.
Combine potatoes (halve larger ones) in a large bowl with crème fraîche mixture, onion and half the dill, watercress and purslane, season to taste and toss to combine. Arrange remaining greens and capers on a platter, top with potato mixture and serve.
Recipe Credit: Australian Gourmet Traveller
References: J. Gibson Annual Herbs study, M. Biggs, J. McVicar & B. Flowerdew Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit 2003