How can I instill dill thrill?
February 8, 2019 9:00 AM   Subscribe

I don't particularly enjoy the taste of either parsley or dill, but thanks to my aerogarden starter kit I have a bounty of both. What uber-awesome recipes (or recipes that don't taste overwhelmingly parsley/dill-y) might just change my mind?

A few constraints:
-I'm mostly vegetarian but I'm willing to be flexible for something really special.
-I do not like fish at ALL although that's one I'm also trying to change my mind on too (still, salmon & dill is probably too much all at once.)

Other than that I'm a pretty open-minded eater!
posted by mosst to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My favorite stuffed mushroom recipe includes about a tablespoon of fresh dill in four servings. It is not overwhelmingly dill-y, but the flavor is there.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:06 AM on February 8, 2019

If you eat eggs, dill is surprisingly tasty on top of a fried egg.

Dill + butter on boiled red potatoes is pretty classic.

Cucumber salad with yogurt or sour cream and dill. Dill goes well in creamy dishes. Growing up, my Latvian family also did a super simple salad of just crunchy iceberg lettuce with a sour cream and mayonnaise dressing and dill.

The problem is most dishes with dill do feature it, because it would just be lost behind other flavors in more complex dishes.

Parsley is used heavily in a lot of Middle Eastern recipes like tabouleh and other salads, or I just found this recipe for Mediterranean 7 layer dip that looks good and uses a fair amount of parsley.

It’s also good in things like dumplings and biscuits, where the flavor isn’t going to be so noticeable.
posted by catatethebird at 9:35 AM on February 8, 2019

I would suggest putting small and then increasingly larger amounts into things with other strong herbal flavors, like pesto. For things that already call for quantities of the herb, mix it with an herb you already like, like mint, cilantro (good parsley mixer), basil, etc. Gremolata and chimichurri are great parsley-based condiments/sauces. While they're usually paired with meat, they're lovely on roasted veggies or dolloped into a bowl of soup.

I've replaced the cilantro (my wife hates it) in the Soup Peddler's Slow and Difficult Soups recipe for bouktouf with mint, but you could try half-and-half cilantro and parsley, or even just a quarter parsley. That cookbook also has a recipe for a Persian barley soup called ash-e-joh that uses both parsley and dill, but again, I'd work up to all parsley and dill--mint and cilantro would help temper their flavors.
posted by carrioncomfort at 9:43 AM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


More generally, the mixture of dill, mint and spring onion (i.e. scallions) is nice and might be better for you than dill on its own?

There’s a great Madhur Jaffrey recipe for chicken curry which uses lots of dill and cilantro — it’s a murgh methi with dill substituted for young fenugreek — but I can’t quickly find it on the internet. memail me if you’re interested and I’ll send you a photo of it.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 9:44 AM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

I love dill in salads and with a lot of vegetables (e.g., with zucchini sauteed in butter, or with pan-seared asparagus). But I like the taste, so you may not feel the same way. Quick pickles are great, too.
posted by pinochiette at 9:47 AM on February 8, 2019

There's an Iranian recipe for a beef stew with fried herbs, it also has kidney beans. You could sub in mushrooms or seitan for the beef. I've done it with just parsley, and put a squeeze of lemon or lime juice in at the end (as I don't have dried limes, but it still tastes delicious).

It's called Gormeh Sabzi, and is very simple to make. Something about frying the parsley makes it taste different, tho' it smells like grass when it's frying, and it reduces a lot (like spinach).

You could probably use any combo of fresh herbs in this stew.

There is also an Iranian herb frittata, which looks good, but haven't tried it, tho' I'm going to now.

You can also make gremolata, which is chopped parsley, lemon juice, and garlic, and makes a nice condiment on things like potatoes. Most countries have a similar condiment, France (persillade), Argentina (chimichurri), etc.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:53 AM on February 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

I found that curry recipe. Because it’s cooked, and combined with cilantro, ginger, garlic and chile, you might find the dill flavour less distinct. But I like dill so I may not be the best judge.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 9:54 AM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

If you're making your own pickles, packing big sprigs of dill in among the vegetables is great. I love dill, and I find that the dill flavor in pickle brine and thus, pickles, is substantially different from its flavor when fresh. A lot less licorice and a lot more just kind of warm and grassy. It also just makes the jars look really pretty.

For parsley it's kind of a jump into the deep end of parsley flavor but have you tried making your own tabbouleh? Roughly equal parts parsley and mint, maybe a third of a part each of bulgar, diced tomatoes and onion (or if you're also growing chives you can substitute those) all tossed with zest and juice of a lemon plus good olive oil and salt and pepper. To me it tastes like summer, and gets yummier after a day to sit in the fridge but often doesn't last that long with me around and armed with a spoon. Fantastic as a bed to place roasted eggplants and peppers on for dinner.
posted by Mizu at 10:37 AM on February 8, 2019

I hate parsley, but I loooove chimichurri sauce.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 10:57 AM on February 8, 2019

Classic Polish quick cucumber pickling involves filling a giant jar or bucket with short cucumbers, a big bunch of dill, pieces of whole horseradish root, and garlic - let's say a bunch of dill, two thumb-sized pieces of horseradish and a bulb of garlic per 1 kg of cucumbers. Chop roughly everything except the cucumbers, cut off the cucumber ends, stuff the jar to bursting with the mix, and pour over enough salted water to fill the jar (1-2 tbsp salt per litre of water). Add some sourdough bread crust to get things running. Cover the jar opening with gauze, put somewhere safe and dark, check in 3-5 days if the water's murky and cucumbers ready for eating.

Completely different taste from classic jarred dill pickles, still utterly delicious. Great way to rescue too-dry cucumbers, too. Horseradish root can be skipped or replaced with a handful of mustard seeds for similar heat.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 11:19 AM on February 8, 2019

This wild rice casserole from Half Baked Harvest calls for dried dill, but I’ve always used a bunch of fresh dill instead and it’s delicious. (If you don’t have harissa, I’ve subbed sriracha, and I’ve also used various rice blends instead of the wild rice. And you can throw whatever veggies you want in it. The prosciutto on top isn’t necessary if you want it to be vegetarian, but it’s really yummy. Basically, it’s a really forgiving recipe; do what you want with it)
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:27 AM on February 8, 2019

I'm a big fan of avgolemono (a Greek lemon-egg soup), which often uses either parsley or dill or both without, to my mind, tasting super herby. I usually use pork or occasionally chicken, but there are vegetarian/vegan versions out there. This hearty vegetarian version uses orzo but you can easily substitute rice.
posted by drlith at 12:00 PM on February 8, 2019

I was coming in to suggest gremolata as well; it's a condiment that combines parsley, lemon, and garlic, and the lemon would probably overpower the parsley.

Parsley can also be used to bulk out pestos; if you have another herb in your set that you like, it'll probably start going nuts too, so making pesto out of that herb may not be a bad idea. You can throw some of the parsley in as well just to use it up.

Speaking of which - dill can be turned into a pesto as well, but with walnuts and sharp cheddar instead of the pine nuts and parmaesan you get in regular pesto the way we think of it. The sharp cheddar might mask the dill some, and that'd be an intriguing thing to play with (stir a dollop into a shepherd's pie before baking, swirl a spoonful into a mushroom soup...)

Or you could get a big container of baby lettuce and cut up a handful each of the dill and parsley into it, then keep that stored in the fridge for salads. They sell baby lettuce with herbs already mixed in, this would be something you could DIY.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:03 PM on February 8, 2019

I find that dill works very well with rich dairy (yogurt and cheese), tomatoes, and eggs, and also with starch bombs like bread and potatoes. But when I first tried dill, it was with chicken breast, and that just didn't work for me.

So try adding fresh or dried dill to:

- Mac and cheese
- Biscuits, especially if they include cheese
- Tomato soup (homemade or canned)
- Drained yogurt / Greek yogurt (not thin, low-fat yogurt: you need the richness)
- Fried eggs and potatoes

I often add sweet or hot paprika along with the dill -- you might find this is a good combo as a first step.
posted by maudlin at 12:27 PM on February 8, 2019

Potatoes + sour cream + dill = heaven

Cucumber + tomato + sour cream + dill + salt + pepper = tasty

You can sub in Greek yoghurt for the last one (but not the first)
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:52 PM on February 8, 2019

Mmm. Mushroom stroganoff with dill, over noodles or rice.
posted by fiercecupcake at 3:25 PM on February 8, 2019

This recipe for a ground turkey/chickpea/rice dish calls for huge amounts of parsley and cilantro. Use as much or as little as you want. It's a big recipe, so we cut it in half (except for the onion). We use almonds instead of pine nuts since we have the in house, and we have also begun adding some frozen peas.
posted by SemiSalt at 3:30 PM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Growing up I didn't like the taste of European/ Italian parsley, but found that it really mellows out when juiced with other stuff like apple, cucumbers, carrots, etc.
posted by porpoise at 3:36 PM on February 8, 2019

I just made a batch of the green tahini sauce in this recipe. I used half a giant bunch of parsley and half a bunch of cilantro, and the end result definitely tastes like there are herbs in the mix but they are softened by the olive oil and tahini. It’s great on roasted veg, tofu, in a wrap, on a salad, very versatile.
posted by little mouth at 3:49 PM on February 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

Mmm. Mushroom stroganoff with dill, over noodles or rice.

This. With egg noodles.

- Biscuits, especially if they include cheese

- Fried eggs and potatoes

Also these.

And it’s wonderful on green beans.
posted by musicinmybrain at 9:01 PM on February 8, 2019

You could try something like this recipe for sabzi polo, an Iranian herbed rice; I believe Melissa Clark has another recipe for this in her Dinner in an Instant cookbook that uses an Instant Pot, and is even more flexible (you use whatever combo of herbs you have on hand in it).
posted by carrienation at 8:16 AM on February 9, 2019

As you probably know (and fear?), dill can take over a dish, so start small.

That said, we buy a Turkey pot pie from a local grocery store that contains some dill, and we find it quite pleasant on the potatoes, etc in the pie.
posted by SemiSalt at 9:41 AM on February 10, 2019

Thanks, all, for such a wealth of ideas, I can't wait to try so many of them!

So far I tried dill-based buttermilk biscuits over the weekend (specifically these with enough dill in the flour mixture to make it nice & fragrant.) They were perfect - flavorful without being overwhelming, and I found the flavor much more palatable than normal. And I semi-successfully added parsley to my mushroom & egg breakfast, though I'm still workshopping that balance. Next up, gremolata and potatoes!
posted by mosst at 8:42 AM on February 11, 2019 [3 favorites]

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