Another Rachel favorite! Whether I am making potato salad or Hungarian Mushroom Soup, it’s a big dill! I always make my tuna salad with a healthy amount of dill. In the US we consume an average of 9 lbs of pickles per person per year. It is here where we are likely most familiar with dill weed – it is the “dill” in the dill pickle.
While part of the same plant dill weed and dill seed are vastly different and experienced chefs would never substitute one for the other. Dill weed, also known as dill herb or leaf dill, refers to the stem and leaf of the plant while dill seed is the fruit of the plant. Dill seeds are most often thought of as a spice while dill weed is considered an herb. The seeds have a much more powerful flavor.
Though uniquely it’s own, if you have to describe it dill weed’s flavor is a combination of anise, celery and parsley while its aroma is a blend of anise and lemon. The modern sophistication of the dehydration process allows dried dill weed to stay spectacularly green and quite flavorful. This resulting subtle flavor and brilliant color of the dill weed herb enhance rather than dominate a dish.
It is best to add dill weed toward the end of the cooking process and use it in recipes that require little or no cooking. The flavor of dill cannot withstand a normal cooking process. For example I add it last in my Hungarian Mushroom Soup. For this reason, dill weed is usually used in fast-cooking sauces, dressings and salads.