Katie's Healthy Bites: Dill-lectable Delights

Dill is well-known for the perfection it achieves when paired with a pickle, but this in season herb has a variety of uses from salads to sauces and pairings with proteins.

For the past few weeks, I have been inspired by the herbs of the season and dill is one herb you shouldn't miss. This fragrant, grassy herb looks elegant in my garden with its lacy feather-like leaves gracefully blowing in the wind.

Dill is well-known for the perfection it achieves when paired with a pickle, but this in-season herb has a variety of uses, from salads to sauces and pairings with proteins.

All About Dill

Historically, dill was used as a multipurpose herb. The name originates from the Norse word "dilla" which means "to lull,” hinting at its ability to cure insomnia or sooth a tummy ache. Medicinal, maybe? Delightfully delicious, for sure!

Dill Weed or Dill Seed?

The frilly dill weed originates from the plant’s leaves grown in early spring. Cooking dill weed destroys the flavor, so add fresh or dried dill to cold salads and dips, or as a finisher for heated soups, grilled fish or roasted veggie dishes.

Later in the growing season, the plants produce a flowering fruit — dill seed. It’s much stronger and more pungent than the leaves. Heat only amplifies the bitter flavor. This makes it the perfect addition to baked breads, savory pastries.

Sowing the Seeds

These sun-loving plants can be grown in your garden or in pots. Choose containers 10 inches high to accommodate its deep-reaching roots.

Harvesting

You can start picking the fresh leaves right before the plant begins to bloom. If you prefer dill seed, allow the flowers to develop and go to seed. Cut the flowering heads when a majority of seeds have formed (2 to 3 weeks after the blossoming begins). Place a bundle of the within a paper bag. Hang the seed heads upside-down by their stems, and shake to feel when the mature seeds have fallen.

After planting my own herb garden, I quickly realized that fresh dill can give a playful tang to my restaurant’s dishes. The taste of it — freshly plucked — provides a zesty, crisp and refreshing addition to many a dish!

Here are a few recipes that spotlight this herbs fabulous flavor:
Dill Yogurt and Cucumber Dip

Ingredients:
• 2 cups fat free plain Greek yogurt
• 1 English cucumber, halved, seeded and sliced thinly
• 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, grated on micro-plane
• 1 lemon, juiced and zested
• Salt to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories: 69
Total Fat: 0 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Carbohydrate: 12 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Sodium: 128 milligrams
Fiber: .4 grams
Roasted Rainbow Beets with Dill

Ingredients:
• 1 bunch rainbow or golden beets, greens removed
• 1 lemon, juice and zested
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange beets (skin on) on a large piece of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Wrap the beets in the foil. Roast for 1 hour or until tender. Allow to cook in foil packet for 15-20 minutes.

While beets are cooling combine remaining olive oil, lemon juice, zest and dill in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Once beets are cool enough to handle, peel them, discarding stems and root ends, then cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges.

Toss beets with dressing. Serve chilled.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories: 99
Total Fat: 7 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Carbohydrate: 9 grams
Protein: 1.4 grams
Sodium: 131 milligrams
Fiber: 2.4 grams
Roasted Salmon with Dill Chimichurri

For Salmon:
• 1 ¼ pounds wild salmon
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 lemon, juiced
• Salt and pepper to taste

For Chimichurri:
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 lemon, juiced and zested
• 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
• 1/2 small shallot
• 1 clove garlic
• ¼ cup flat leaf parsley
• ½ cup fresh dill
• 1/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes (optional)

• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400. Cut Salmon into 4 filets. Season each with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Roast for 8-10 minutes. Combine all chimichurri ingredients in a food processor. Serve with salmon.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories: 235
Total Fat: 12.5 grams
Saturated Fat: 1.9 grams
Carbohydrate: 1 gram
Protein: 29 grams
Sodium: 129 milligrams
Fiber: .1 grams

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. See Katie's full bio »

The blog was co-written by Amanda Frankeny.
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