Valley Bounty: Dill
I learned recently that there is an expression in the Balkans that says someone “is the dill in many soups,” the way we might say in English that they “have a finger in many pies.” Dill, as this idiomatic portrayal implies, has a long history as a steadfast ingredient in eastern European dishes (especially soups like borscht) and the classic dill pickle, but can also fill a variety of other roles during its spring and summer tenure.
Fresh dill can be found easily at farmers’ markets and farm stands, and does well in a pot on a windowsill as well. Dill pairs especially well with fish; often, I’ll simply rub salmon or tuna fillets with dill, lemon, and black pepper, and sauté in butter. For something slightly fancier (and I mean slightly), sauté the unadorned fish first, then deglaze the pan with white wine, dill, salt, pepper, and julienned shallots to make an easy sauce.
Mix dill with yogurt or sour cream to use as a dipping sauce or dressing for potato salad. Try adding fresh-chopped dill to your favorite scone or biscuit recipe; sour cream and dill biscuits with fried eggs and bacon make great breakfast sandwiches.
Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)