Guest Author - Jason Hodge
Dill weed is awesome! It's soothing, goes great with a lot of dishes, and lends a beautiful aroma to rices, stews, dressings, baked goods, and tasty finger foods. It's a great addition to your oils, splashes, marinades, vinegars, and pickles.
I've always been a huge fan of dill. I love it from the rooter to the tooter, or roots to seeds, as normal people would know them. There are so many options, and various ways to work with the herb to draw the nuances of flavor out. Personally I love the soothing balance dill offers to my savory dishes. I've found if things need smoothing out, whether they're too sharp, too earthy, too salty, that I've been able to apply dill weed to set those notes straight. Although it's not always the ideal fix, it's done wonders for many of my dishes.
It's got great health benefits: loaded with calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, fiber, monoterpenes and flavonoids. They help fight oxidation in the body, helps neutralize carcinogens, like parsley, fights bacterial overgrowth like garlic, helps calm both stomach and nerves, and can be great for insomnia. Needless to say I love this herb!
Although this is going to be a pretty simple recipe, it'll be a little more involved than just throwing fresh dill into the blender and whizzing it on high for a minute or so.
1/4 cup dill weed
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dill seeds
1 mortar & pestle
1 sauce pan
1. Place dill seeds in sauce pan and lightly toast until aroma develops. Immediately remove from the heat and pour into mortar and pulverize.
2. Add fresh dill weed grind to a paste and begin to drizzle oil into mortar, incorporating everything together.
3. After everything's incorporated you can either spoon everything into blender and blend for 20 seconds to a minute, depending on the power of your blender, or you can transfer it to a serving container. You're done!
It's pretty simple to make and tastes much better if you go the extra step and prepare it in your mortar and pestle. There's something about breaking up those fibers in the mortar and pestle that the blender simply can't compete with. The reason for this is that the blender chops the fibers and still leaves behind flavor, whereas the mortar and pestle breaks the fibers, mixes everything together and literally expresses the oils from the cellular structures to release them into the oil. If I had my druthers, I would only use my mortar and pestle, but it's not always the convenient choice, but the flavor's definitely worth it.
Don't be a stranger to your fresh herbs. Try them out in fun and interesting ways. Try them out by creating your own herbed oils and herbed oil combinations. Once you go there, I can pretty much guarantee... you'll never go back!
Pop on over to my Facebook page and tell me how you'd use your dill oil!
Until next time...