From the market to your table
From the market to your table

All about fine herbs > Dill > From the market to your table


It is best to buy fresh dill since every other form of storage or presentation diminishes its essential flavour

  • Fresh: in the refrigerator in a plastic bag
  • Dried: in a closed airtight container, kept away from light
  • Frozen: chopped into an ice cube tray and covered with water to which some vinegar has been added
  • Seeds: in a closed airtight container, kept away from light

Dill is torn or chopped when raw

Using dill
  • Loves being added to brine for pickles
  • pairs well with fish: grilled, en papillote, or cooked in court bouillon, or in sauces for fish
  • never boil dill sprigs; throw into a stock or hot sauce only at the last minute, over low heat
  • milder and less bitter than the seeds, fresh dill leaves also give off more flavour
  • Hints and tips: Dill is a refined aromatic herb which does not pair well with dominant flavours like garlic or olive oil

A large quantity of fennel, or better yet, a mixture of fennel and caraway with a touch of mint

A Marriage of Passion and Reason

Its scent is somewhat reminiscent of parsley, but its flavour is actually more like anise, though milder than its cousin, fennel. Beloved by the Russians, Scandinavians and Germans, it is used to flavour English cucumbers in cream, and Scandinavian potatoes. Dill pairs equally well with butter and cream, meat balls and blanquettes as with acidic foods like vinegar and marinades, sour cream and pickles.


With Alain Labrie, former chef of Auberge Hatley (Relais&Châteaux) in Quebec

Though it has a light fresh taste, dill can become strong depending on the quantity you use. It is excellent for fish, but try a few sprigs in a summer fruit salad on the patio.
Dill can enliven somewhat bland winter salads, and is best with milder greens like Boston or head lettuce rather than strongly-flavoured lettuces like Niçoise or escarole. Coarsely chop one bunch of dill per head of lettuce.

Dill adds zest to cream sauces, eggs, white meats or simple vegetable sautés. Always add it at the end of the cooking time or the flavour will dissipate.

Dill enhances cream sauces, eggs, white meats or a simple sauté of vegetables. Always add it towards the end of cooking or its flavour will fade.

It is perfect for making dill pickles, including gherkins, and for fish, whether grilled, cooked in court-bouillon or en papillote, and for flavouring sour cream or butter.

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