Preserve your Garden Herbs: What to Do With All of That Extra Dill
Dill is a great fresh herb to have around, especially with all of it's pungent flavor and health benefits. Dill is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A & C, and provides a unique and complimentary flavor to many dishes such as pickled green beans and smoked salmon. Perhaps this season you’ve watched your dill grow into beautiful bouquets, so now what? We have some ideas for you to deal with your dill-bounty. After these tips, you might plant double the crop next year in your garden. Let's dill-it!
- First, harvest your crop. Take about a third of each plant (or a third of each bunch of plants) at a time to allow the leaves to regenerate. Do this in the early morning or late evening to avoid the heat of the day. Take a jar full of water to treat the dill cuttings like cut-flowers and stick your fresh stems in.
- Dry your excess dill. For this method, gather stems into small bouquets. The smaller the bouquet, the faster the plants will dry. Tie the base of your bunch with a piece of string. Thread the long end of the string through a paper bag with a hole at the bottom. Simply hang the bag in a dry room (upside down) and let the air absorb the moisture out of the herbs. Dry dill, naturally! A dehydrator or low-heated oven can also accomplish this.
- Freeze your dill to preserve it. Use a food processor, or cut your dill to the desired size. Add in a bit of olive oil or water and fill ice cube trays with the mixture. Let freeze for a couple of hours, and then take the cubes out and put them in a ziploc bag to free up your ice trays again. Add a cube to any dish for the fresh taste of dill, even in the middle of winter.
- Pickle dill with your other vegetables. This is one of our favorite recipes--feel free to add dill right into the jar. Pickled foods are fantastic because they're easy to make, and keep in the fridge for a month or longer (if you let them last that long!).
How do you like to use dill? Let us know!
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