May 9th, 2012

Dillweed Forest

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Because one lone plant was most prolific last summer, with
Multiple blossomed whorls gone to vigorous seed,
Because the winter was mild and the sprouts hardy
A great patch of dillweed, tall and feathery, took hold in my front yard.

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This unexpected abundance has me both delighted and stumped. And while its beauty alone makes the little dillweed forest a welcome presence in our postage stamp garden, I’ve been seeking new ways to use this herb.

In pickling, certainly. Snipped into salads, baked onto a side of salmon, folded into a quickbread batter with cheddar cheese.

I welcome your suggestions.

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One way I’ve been enjoying dillweed is in this sauce that uses lush Greek yogurt.

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Simple–and versatile.

A quick whisk of herbs, coarse grain mustard, vinegar, and olive oil into a bowl of this plain creamy base readily transforms into a sauce, or dip, or dressing. You might relish a dollop of this on a falafel-pita sandwich, or as a cooling dip for a spicy grilled lamb kebab. It stands up nicely alongside a tray of crudites. Or potato chips!

Long ago, I would make something similar, using sour cream. Now, I prefer tangy and thick-bodied Greek yogurt in its stead. So accessible at the market, ( all the yogurt companies have added Greek to their repertoire) it makes a terrific substitute–healthier too.

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Today, I used it to dress potato salad–a springtime variation that combines new potatoes and asparagus. So seasonal, both vegetables take well to dillweed, and both work together in this somewhat different dish.

You actually plunge the asparagus tips right in with the potatoes, in the final minute of cooking.

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Drain and cool—just slightly. When still warm, the new potatoes tend to absorb the dressing better. That bit of heat blooms the herbs in the sauce. You can serve the salad immediately, if you like. Or serve it chilled.

It tastes fantastic, either way.

If you have any other of-the-moment garden veggies on hand, slice ’em up and put ’em in. The crisp bite of French radishes, for instance, would be exceptional in this dish. Cucumbers? Yes. Scallions, too.

And, remember–I’m on the lookout for more ways to use my dillweed forest. Please share!

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NEW POTATO-ASPARAGUS SALAD with GREEK YOGURT DILL SAUCE

1 1/2 lbs. small New Potatoes, cleaned and quartered
1 bundle fresh Asparagus, cut on the diagonal into small pieces

1 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt
1 T. Coarse Grain Mustard
1 T. White Wine Vinegar
1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 heaping T. fresh Dillweed, chopped
1 T. fresh Chives, chopped
1 1/2 t. Sea Salt
1/2 t. Black Pepper

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add new potatoes. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.
Add asparagus pieces and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and drain.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients.

Place slightly cooled potatoes and asparagus into a serving bowl. Spoon yogurt-dill sauce over the vegetables.
Toss and fold until well coated.

Garnish with dillweed.

May serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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Posted in Recipes, Salads, Vegetables

33 Responses to “Dillweed Forest”
  1. janet @ the taste space Says:

    I am very jealous of your dill forest! I tried to grow some last year but nothing grew…. and I thought it was supposed to be a weed, which totally stumped me. :(

    In any case, here are some of recipes with dill:
    http://tastespace.wordpress.com/tag/dill/

    The Pickle Soup and Flageolet and Carrot Salad were probably my favourites. :)

  2. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Janet, Thanks so much! These are great recipes—great blog. I love the idea of Six Shades of Red Soup, and the warm Flageolet Pasta dish with leeks and dill sounds especially appealing. (Love those flageolets!)

  3. Nancy Says:

    Looks like you will not be running out of dill any time soon, and the creamy potato salad looks superb. I’ve always liked the flavor of dill, but really fell in love with it when I was visiting Stockholm a couple of years ago – dill on and in everything!

    One of my favorite ways to use it is in a compound butter with lemon zest and miso – great on asparagus or steamed potatoes, or just spread on a piece of crusty bread. So good.

  4. goodfoodmatters Says:

    You’re right—Dill is a mainstay in Scandinavian cuisines! Your compound butter sounds delish–I will try that. Thanks, Nancy!

  5. Mary Says:

    I love the forest of dill weed! I constantly use dill in my ranch dressing and I love it in potato salads as well. Beyond that, not so much. I need to check back later and see what other suggestions you receive!

    Have a blessed week!

  6. Kath Says:

    Ooh how lovely to have a dill forest. I have a fennel forest in my garden, which looks the same. Unfortunately Mr OC doesn’t like the aniseed taste of fennel, so I must plant some dill that I can actually use. I like the dill yoghurt combo very much.

  7. Epicurea Says:

    i’m jealous of the dill forest too and what a wonderful potato salad!

  8. Barbara Says:

    Fabulous dill, Nancy! (and I love the little lady bug) Soups, dips, fish, salads….there are so many ways to use it.

  9. Teresa/foodonfifth.com Says:

    I love dill weed in all ways! You have quite a forest indeed and it is so beautiful. Betty Blackburn used to bake a wonderful dill bread every summer to eat with homegrown tomatoes. We would take thick slices of her warm dill bread, slather it with her homemade mayo and add thick juicy slices of homegrown tomatoes and was the most wonderful perfect summer sandwich…very dilly…imaginable. That would be how I would use much of your fantastic dill…and wouldn’t your potato salad be just the perfect thing to go with?
    Lady bug, lady bug, fly away home….

  10. Maggie Says:

    Nance, this looks so good! A mild winter can bring on some nice surprises! One salad I love is, mixed greens, cucumbers, green onion, dill, feta cheese, and dressed with a little olive oil and a dab of mayo (you know I love my mayo!), salt & pepper.

  11. fluffy Says:

    Love the Ladybug!

  12. Beth Says:

    I don’t have any suggestions for using dill – but this potato salad looks like a good start!

  13. rhonda Says:

    Dill is one of the few things I can grow that the squirrels won’t eat. If you haven’t tried it already, puree some with olive oil and whatever else you want to throw in there for a great bread dip. I tried onion, garlic and cayenne this morning, but went a bit overboard on the garlic….glad I don’t have any meetings today!!!
    Thanks for the great recipe….No ladybug on mine today, but I decided to forego the extra protein and relocated the inch worm. :-)

  14. Wendy Riley Says:

    I love dill… but here in our Texas home, it doesn’t turn into forests – well at least not at my house, where I don’t have a green thumb either…
    MY suggestion for your over abundance of forest? Send some to ME!! :D

  15. Nicole Says:

    Delicious. Bake it into bread. There is a recipe on my blog that includes cottage cheese and dill. Makes an amazing bread.

    What a stunning lady bug. I am just so envious that you have a garden and a green thumb.

    This is a very tempting dish that would look great on any picnic blanket or at any summer bbq!

  16. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Thanks, Nichole—that bread sounds so so good with cottage cheese. I’ll check it out, for sure.
    My thumb is kinda green–the dillweed forest got there really by its own devices!

  17. Katerina Says:

    Dill pairs perfectly with Greek yogurt! I am sure this salad was packed with flavors!

  18. Magda | My Little Expat Kitchen Says:

    Of course you know what I’m going to suggest, right? Tzatziki! Real Greek yoghurt and dill brings absolutely nothing else to this Greek mind :)

    A question though: is dillweed different than dill?

    Nancy, I LOVE your salad. I’m in a really big salad kick ever since all the spring produce started making their appearance at the market. I’m gonna try yours soon!

  19. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Magda—Dillweed and dill are one and the same. And, yes, Tzatziki is an absolute must! I knew I could count on “this Greek mind” for the perfect suggestion. :)

  20. Nic@diningwithastud Says:

    What a delicious salad! I do love dill

  21. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says:

    I just started a few plants and am far from having a dill weed forest. This looks like a wonderful salad for a picnic.

  22. beti Says:

    I love how it looks and besides it’s an easy and fresh recipe

  23. Faith Says:

    What a delicious salad — definitely the perfect use for an abundance of dill! Love the ladybug photo — so pretty.

  24. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    oh send me some! i just love dill- It reminds me of my late grandmother (who taught me to cook) because she used Dill in everything- literally everything. My favorite of hers ws the dill soda crackers.

  25. Juliana Says:

    Nancy, you sure have lots and lots of fresh dill…honestly I never even used fresh dill, only the dried ones :(
    Your potato and asparagus look great in the yogurt/dill dressing.
    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead :)

  26. FOODESSA Says:

    I confess…I’ve never used dill…how strange, because I do appreciate this herb. Maybe, if you’d show up here with your abundant bouquet, my circumstance would change ;o) Your salad looks delightfully appetizing.

    BTW…last year we had an epidemic of lady bugs…a little scary for such cute little creatures.

    Have a fabulous week Nancy.
    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

  27. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Jessica–If I could send you (and Wendy Riley in Texas) some, I would. Dill soda crackers sound quite interesting.

    Claudia–I understand, I have used it sparingly. It isn’t used much in Italian or French cuisine. But it is terrific in salads, and on salmon. I’ll be trying it in bread soon.

    Two summers ago I was at a place in Indiana, plagued with a ladybug epidemic. It sure turned those sweet little insects into something creepy.

  28. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    Greek yogurt in potato salad. Great idea. I wish I was more creative with dill. Gravlax?

  29. Karen (Back Road Journal) Says:

    I love the idea of adding asparagus to the dill potato salad. I agree about using Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise.

  30. Simply Life Says:

    oh I love how fresh everything is in this!

  31. Jennifer T. Says:

    Nancy brought this tasty potato salad to a dinner earlier this month at my mom’s house, and it was a huge hit. Super creamy, tart, dilly, and savory. The asparagus were a crunchy surprise, which I mistook for green beans until I was advised otherwise. When I woke up the morning after the dinner, rummaging through the fridge, the potato salad caught my eye and was reprised as breakfast. Thanks, Nancy!

  32. Brionna Says:

    In the southern U.S, is it not pickles or pickle relish in potato salad? In Sweden they use dill pickles with theirs and some Germans will add sour gherkins to their warm potato salad with a mustard and bacon dressing. Just like cole slaw being either creamy or a vinegar based dressing, it is a regional thing.

  33. ernestine lawson Says:

    So pleased I found you reading the Tennessean this morning. Settled in my country cottage for 2 years an hour from Nashville and am enjoying my herbs. Dill so plentiful
    and using in chicken, tuna and egg salad on salmon and some of the ways you shared. I am busy scanning your recipes….



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