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Add this fresh herb to your favorite summertime dishes

Dill and summer go hand in hand

herbs blogIn our ongoing series about ways to add a fresh herb to your meals, today we’re featuring dill.

Dill lends its sweet-and-sour flavor to a variety of foods from several European countries, as well as to Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. It provides a hint of summery flavor to a lemon sauce for fish, in yogurt-based dips, on vegetables such as carrots and spinach, in egg dishes or with legumes.

Dill leaves are used fresh or dried and are sometimes referred to as dill weed. The seeds of dill also have culinary uses, most commonly in creating pickled vegetables. While cucumbers create the well-known dill pickle, other vegetables that can be pickled with dill include green beans, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and okra. This Easy and Delicious Dill Pickle recipe uses fresh dill instead of the seeds.

Packed with nutritional value

dill blogA source of phytonutrients, monoterpenes and flavonoids, dill supplies antioxidants that protect against cellular damage. Dill provides a variety of nutrients such as folate, riboflavin, vitamin C, calcium and iron, while adding a unique flavor to your meals.

Since dill is reputed to help move gas along through the digestive track, combining it with lentils in this Simple Salad of Legumes and Herbs may help address the common concern of excess flatulence associated with eating legumes.

Growing dill

Dill can be grown in most any soil with good drainage and prefers warm, sunny areas away from wind. You can harvest dill by taking a 1/4 – 1/3 of a stem at a time.

Storage and cooking

Dill can be stored with its stems in a glass of water or wrapped in a damp paper towel; however, it does not last more than a couple days. It is easiest to find fresh dill leaves during summer and early fall but dried leaves and seeds can be found throughout the year.

As with other leafy herbs, swish the dill leaves in a bowl of cool water to rinse away dirt.

Dill has a delicate flavor and should be added at the very end of cooking. Using the leaves in uncooked dishes will preserve more of its flavor. Try a Creamy Yogurt Herb Sauce over fish or cooked vegetables or serve as a dip for raw vegetables.

What’s your favorite heart-healthy dill recipe?

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Allison Fay Brenda Small thumbnailBrenda Allison Fay, RDN, is a senior dietitian and cardiovascular nutritionist with the Cardiovascular Medicine Clinic at Domino’s Farms. With more than 15 years of experience as a dietitian, she provides nutritional counseling to help people reduce disease risk and improve health.

 

 

Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.