Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.As Deborah Madison says, “I don’t know a single person who says, ‘I can’t stand dill!’ though such people probably do exist.”.If dill’s feathery fronds (1) look familiar, you might have already guessed that it belongs to the carrot family, as do chervil, cilantro, and parsley root.The fronds are the part of the plant that you use most often, and unlike some other herbs, you can use a whole lot of dill leaves without overpowering a dish.Use fresh dill in spreads and sauces, like a smoked mackerel pâté, a compound butter, or a sour cream slather.Dill is a classic with fish, egg dishes, and potatoes, and it works with comforting foods like soups and rice, too.Dill seeds can be used whole or crushed, and are often used in bread, soups, vegetable dishes, and pickles. .

How to Use Dill Flowers

Roughly resembling Queen Anne's Lace, the flower of the dill plant is spiny, yellow and, like the leaves and seeds, edible.Submerge the cut dill flowers in cold water and agitate gently to remove any dirt. .

When and How to Harvest Dill and Best Way to Preserve It

Learn when and how to harvest dill to make the most of this fragrant, much loved herb.I have dried dill in the past, but find no matter what I do, the flavor is gone within a couple of months.The best time to harvest dill is when it is young and tender, before flower heads form.You can even start harvesting dill when it is quite small with only four or five stems growing from the center stalk.Here in Winnipeg, I have found end of June, early July a good time to harvest dill.The good news is that dill typically regrows quickly and will send out flower heads in time for pickling season.You’ll find that once the seed heads form, the fern like branches get tough and the tips will start to turn yellow or brown.I prefer to freeze dill when I have an abundance in the garden or extra from the store.Dill dries quickly and beautifully – but it loses it’s flavour within a month.If the dill is dry of surface water and separates nicely, fill small containers or freezer bags and freeze for six months to a year.If it is still quite wet, let the chopped dill dry out for an hour or so before placing in freezer containers.Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. .

List of Edible Flowers – West Coast Seeds

Edible flowers can be used to add a splash of colour to all kinds of foods, from salads to desserts to fancy cocktails.A single borage petal, carefully placed, can really enhance a slice of cake or an amuse bouche.Organic or not, all flowers should be shaken and washed in cold water prior to use, as they may to be homes for insects.The exception here is the Violas, including Johnny-Jump-Ups and pansies, as well as scarlet runner beans, honeysuckle, and clover.Arugula – Once this cool-season plant (Eruca vesicaria) begins to bolt, its leaves will have become tough and almost too spicy to eat.Tuberous begonia flowers contain oxalic acid, so should be avoided by people suffering from kidney stones, gout, or rheumatism.The flowers (and the young leaves) have an intense flavour of mint with undertones of citrus and oregano.Monarda flowers are formed by large clusters of edible tubular petals that can be separated before adding to cakes, fancy drinks, or salads.Borage – This familiar garden herb (Borago officnialis) has furry leaves and exquisite blue, star-shaped flowers.They have a nice flavour that ranges from peppery to bitter, and they add bright yellow, gold, and orange colour to soups and salads.Chervil – The lacy leaves of this shade-loving herb (Anthriscus cerefolium) are topped by delicate white flowers borne in umbels.Chicory – All endive varieties (Cichorium endivia & C. intybus) produce, at summer’s end, tall stems with striking, sky-blue flowers.In summer heat it is quick to bolt, and will send up tall umbels of white flowers.In fact, the whole above ground plant is edible, but it’s best to grow clover as tender sprouts or to use the flower tubes in moderation as a salad garnish.Dame’s Rocket – The petals of this tall relative of mustard (Hesperis matronalis) are pink, lavender, or white, and always come in fours.The petals (and the immature leaves) of Dame’s Rocket are worth adding to salads, but have a mild bitter flavour.When picked small, and unopened, the flower buds have a surprising sweetness, reminiscent of honey.The bright red and pink petals have a mild clove flavour and are great for desserts or salads.English Daisy – The low growing flowers (Bellis perennis) have a bitter flavour, but are entirely edible.They are small enough to use simply by sprinkling the petals onto salads or other meals, and will not overwhelm stronger flavours.These can be sautéed in butter for an intense, early summer side dish, or run through the food processor and mixed with Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and pine nuts for a sensational pesto.Johnny-Jump-Up – This plant (Viola tricolor) produces masses of small, brightly coloured flowers that have a faint wintergreen taste.The sweet, intensely floral flavour of lavender should be used with restraint, but adds an incredible to pop savory dishes as well as desserts.A little goes a long way, but one or two individual flowers added to a summer punch looks wonderful and tastes very refreshing.African marigold flowers are used as a food colourant in Europe, but have only been approved for use as a poultry feed additive in the US.tenuifolia has a refreshing citrus, lemony flavour, and its petals work well torn into salads or smart drinks.Curiously this familiar garden flower is a cousin of the Brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, mustards, etc…).The perennial type bears pink to white flowers with five petals that have a pleasant, peppery flavour.Queen Anne’s Lace – The Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) produces tall umbels of exquisite, tiny, white flowers, each one marked by a blood-red centre.Be absolutely certain that the plant you are harvesting is not the invasive weed known as Wild or Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum), which looks very similar.Although its petals are intensely perfumed, their flavour is subtler and a bit fruity, with complex undertones that depend on the variety and soil conditions.Scarlet Runner Bean – The flowers of this vine (Phaseolus vulgaris) are vivid, intense red, and also delicious.They make excellent garnishes for soups and salads, providing a real visual high note.They can be torn into salads or stuffed with savory items like herbs and goat cheese, and then fried in a light tempura batter.Alternately, the petals can be pulled from the edge of the opened flower and added to soups and salads.

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Dill Blossoms Information and Facts

On each umbel, the tiny flower buds grow in clustered groupings on slender pedicels, all connecting to a common point on the stalk.The flowers have a more robust flavor than the plant’s wispy leaves, also edible and used in culinary preparations, and contain a distinct sour characteristic that the herb is known for with a sweet finish.Historically, Dill blossoms have been used in medicinal and culinary preparations throughout Europe and Western Asia, and over time, their popularity has spread worldwide.The flowers also contain lower amounts of antioxidants that protect the body against the damage caused by free radicals.Dill blossoms have a bright herbal flavoring well suited for fresh and cooked preparations.The flowers can be scattered over seafood, egg-based dishes, and pasta, floated over soups and stews, sprinkled over roasted potatoes or corn, layered into sandwiches, or stuffed into pitas.The flowers can also be placed in a sealed plastic bag and frozen for extended use.In the Middle Ages in Europe, Dill blossoms were believed to have magical properties and were used as protection against evil.Over time, the magical legends surrounding Dill blossoms transformed into the rumor that the flowers were thought to bring good luck.The first written record of dill dates back to Ancient Egypt, where the herb was mentioned as a “soothing medicine,” and it was rumored that the Babylonians cultivated the plant in home gardens around 3000 BCE.Dill was later used as a medicinal and culinary herb in the Greek and Roman empires, and over time, migrating peoples and monks spread the plant throughout the rest of Europe.Today Dill blossoms can be found growing in herb gardens throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and North America and thrive in full sun and rich, well-drained soils. .

How To Harvest Dill Seeds From Your Garden

So, even if you don’t love to eat dill, it’s still an essential herb to include in every vegetable garden.I like to collect several types of seeds from my garden every year, and dill is one of my favorites.Many times you don’t even have to collect dill seeds, sometimes they will readily reseed themselves with no help from you.The easiest way to harvest dill seed is to clip the entire flower head from the plant, and dropping them into a paper bag or bucket.Then you can collect dill seeds by gently pinching them off, or by shaking the bag or bucket the flower heads are in.Once your seeds have completely dried out, store them in a plastic container (film canisters are the perfect size!You should be able to find dill seeds for sale at your local garden center during the winter-spring months.Share you tips for how to harvest dill seed from your garden in the comments section below. .

How To Grow Dill For An Abundant Harvest From Your Edible Garden

The scent of dill brings back memories of homemade tomato soup made by my grandmother.Now when I grow dill, I’m taken back to those fond childhood memories of eating her delicious soup, filled with homegrown goodness.The feathery green foliage of dill is used as a herb while the seeds from the flowers are used as a spice.Dill (botanical name Anethum graveolens) is part of the celery family and prefers free-draining soil, with a good amount of organic matter.However, planting seeds in trays or small pots is still my preferred method as it allows me to see what I have growing, without mistaking it for a weed!Choose a sunny spot in the garden where dill will receive 6-8 hours or more of sunlight each day.Dill will cope with some dappled shade, though it will do better in the sun and produce a bushier plant.Seed can be sown 1/4 inch (0.5cm) deep in shallow trenches and covered lightly with soil.Water the seeds well and keep the soil moist until seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.They form a hollow stem and because of their height, may need additional support or else they can fall over.Growing dill in pots and containers is a great option when space is limited.Apart from starting with healthy soil, topped with compost and aged manure, dill does not require a large amount of feeding.Foliage can be lightly snipped off all over and will encourage further growth and a bushier plant.Direct sow after the last expected frost date or start indoors 4-6 weeks before.Dill is not too bothered by pests and disease, though it may be attractive to the odd caterpillar (which may turn into a swallowtail butterfly).For organic control, either hand remove them or plant extra dill to account for some loss.In order to achieve an abundance of dill in your garden, ensure free-draining soil which has been prepared with compost and aged manure, keep up the water especially on hot days and succession plant every few weeks in the growing season. .

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