Dill is said to have magical powers. But he also knows how to make good cuisine.

A stem of dill with flowers.

Dill calms the stomach and also helps against problems falling asleep. Photo: H.Tschanz-Hofmann/imago

Dill has such a long tradition as a medicinal plant and spice that it is even mentioned in the Bible. At that time, cucumber herb was still used as currency or placed under the bed to ward off evil spirits. Gone are the days when you could pay your taxes with dill, but I'm still a fan.

Because dill is always a good choice, whether with potatoes, sauces, cottage cheese, salads or fish and seafood. I think it also pairs well with many Indian recipes, such as spicy curries. Add fresh dill to the dish only towards the end. Otherwise, like any herbaceous spice, it will go rancid and lose color.

I like to grow my own dill. In summer it becomes food for flowering bees and adds color to the garden. If the flowers wither and turn brown, they can be picked and dried. The dill seeds obtained are a wonderful condiment for salads and pastas. When prepared as a tea, the seeds also have a greater healing effect than the herb itself. They contain a particularly large amount of essential oils and have an antispasmodic effect. This calms the stomach and also helps against problems falling asleep.

For a salad with dill, oranges, fennel and olives, first peel two oranges and cut them into thin slices. Then clean a fennel and save the leaves to garnish the salad. Wash the dill and cilantro, shake them, then cut them into small pieces. Lightly sauté the fennel in a pan with a little oil and season with salt and pepper, then mix with the oranges.

For the dressing I combine white wine vinegar, walnut oil, salt, pepper and toasted sesame seeds. If you want you can add orange zest, but only if they are organic oranges. I sprinkle cilantro, dill and some olives on top. And now we have the salad.

I also like apple and horseradish soup with dill. To do this, I peel and cut an onion. Then follow 400 grams of sour apples: not Granny Smith, better a Boskoop. Finally, I heat butter in a pot and sauté the onion in it. The apple pieces should smoke for a moment, then I fill everything with a quarter liter of chicken soup and the same amount of apple juice. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, I grate horseradish to taste and add it at the end, plus a little cream. I then puree the soup and strain it through a fine sieve before seasoning it with salt and pepper. On top, wash and generously chop dill. A charcoal steak goes well with it. Enjoy!

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