Dill named Herb of the Year for 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 10:00 AM
Owner of Oak Spring Herb Farm and Member of the International Herb Association
Dill has been named the Herb of the Year for 2010 by the International Herb Association. It is a versatile herb and can be an ingredient in many flavorful dishes.
The International Herb Association has chosen dill as the outstanding herb for 2010. Common in many gardens, dill grows 3- to 4-feet tall. It is an annual but reseeds itself readily. The seeds are best sown right in the place you want them to grow as they do not transplant readily. Dill likes well-drained soil and full sun.
Dill can be used at many stages. Young feathery foliage can be used on potatoes, pork chops or in salads. The large heads of tiny flowers can be used for pickling or snipped in salads or butter. The seeds have their own distinct flavor and are used in bread and with pickling spices
The history of dill is interesting. It is native to western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean region. The earliest mention of this herb dates to about 3000 B.C. where it is mentioned in Egyptian medical texts.
The Romans considered dill to be a sign of good luck and the Greeks viewed it as a symbol of wealth. Dill was transported across Asia and into Europe and eventually the Americas.
There are several cultivars - some suited for seed production while others are better choices for the leaves or dill weed.
Bouquet is the most commonly grown dill variety. It has dark blue green foliage that is highly fragrant fresh or dried. It has large seed heads.
Dukat is primarily grown for its rich foliage, which makes it ideal for salads. It is especially sweet tasting.
Fernleaf is a unique type of dill that grows about 18 inches tall and is a compact, multi-branching plant. It is a good container garden plant. It is a good producer of seed as well as dill weed.
Dill is a cool season plant that means it is best planted in early spring. It will grow good until hot weather hits, then will go to seed.
Here's a recipe for Dilled New Potatoes that is delicious.
24 tiny new potatoes
8 tablespoons butter
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed
Clean potatoes and let them dry. Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for 35 to 40 minutes until potatoes are done. Toss with dill weed and serve at once.
Make sure to try some dill in your garden and in your kitchen this year to celebrate the herb of the year!