We grow Dill both as a small leafed salad and a small leafed herb as a micro. The microherb version is very decorative, with an excellent texture but less of the full floral Dill flavour than the salad leaf. For the salad leaves, I tend to grow it a a plant that is a foot or two tall and keep taking off small tender bits to achieve more depth of flavour. If you let the plants get too big then they become far less delicate, sweet, intense and aromatic, reverting to the standard mature herb for chopping.
The leaves are delicately fern-like, with a light and delicate but still quite heady flavour – it has elements of caraway, pine, aniseed, lemon, fennel, parsley and celery. Dill is used widely throughout Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It is an excellent companion to acidic flavours like lemon or vinegars and is widely known as a classic European pickling ingredient. Dill is also popular in egg, chicken, seafood and potato dishes alongside recipes for artisan bread like Dan Lepard’s Dill and Potato Bread or as a gourmet popcorn seasoning as in this Dill Pickle Popcorn recipe from noblepig.com.
Dill is an easy plant to care for. There are a few interesting varieties that I’ve found from other countries over the last few years. The Domino variety is a lot more vigorous and bushier at a smaller size which gives us a lot better yield while the older varieties (and the ones that I’ve seen generally grown in Britain) have been taller and thinner without so much leaf but still with a good selection of flowers. However, the most common varieties tend to not to have enough soft leaf for the chefs we grow for, so I’m always on the look out for something new.