I think it is only fair that I dedicate a page of my blog to this green, feathery herb. After all, I am eating it approximately twice a day. Once if I’m lucky.
During the time of the Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks, dill was regarded as an indication of wealth and was also used for its healing properties. Dill is native to Southern Europe, the Mediterranean and Russia and is extremely popular in Eastern European dishes. However, I would like to contest this fact and suggest that all websites writing about dill mention Siberian cuisine as well. It’s only fair.
It is a well known fact that dill is a fantastic herb to use to flavour fish dishes or sauces to be served with fish. It is FANTASTIC in a fish pie due to its mild, slightly sweet flavour and without it a fish pie, in my opinion, is not complete. What is not so fantastic is when you have a pasta dish flavoured with dill. That is not what dill wants to be used for. Eastern European cuisine uses dill to add depth to soups and potato dishes and Siberian cuisine is no different. Every soup I have ordered has had dill in it and I have to admit that I haven’t fancied ordering a whole plate of potatoes so haven’t been able to discover whether this part is true or not. I understand that soup may sometimes need that little bit extra to give it some ‘oompf’, however, when ordering pea and ham soup I do not expect to find a whole dill plant sprinkled on top; I would like to taste the pea and the ham seeing as that is the intended flavour of the soup. If I am being unreasonable here then please feel free to tell me.
Some parculiar uses of dill I have experienced so far in the short 2 weeks I have been in Tomsk:
sliced cucumber sprinkled with dill (not as bad as minted cucumber though!)
cold meat on a plate served with a hearty sprig of dill
chicken noodle soup with a ‘sprinkling’ of dill
pasta in a creamy dill sauce
You may not think that dill is such a problem and wonder why I’m complaining but try eating it at least once every day and I think you’ll find you can see where I’m coming from. Those of you who know me will know that I am really not a fan of coriander as it reminds me of my rabbits’ food. However, under these extreme circumstances I would even appreciate a bit of coriander on my plate once in a while. It has got that desperate.
I say – Return dill to it’s proper use and use it as an accompaniment to fish!