Traditional methods of preserving dill include gathering several bundles and hanging them to dry. Although this is the preferred method for dill to be used in pickling, it is not the only method of preservation. Freezing is gaining popularity due to the ease of preparation and use, particularly if dill is to be used as a seasoning for fresh soups and sauces. According to Joanne Austin, from Washington State University, freezing also locks in flavour.
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Things you need
- Paper towels
- Freezer bags
- Ice cube tray
Harvest dill before it blossoms for best flavour. Pick in the morning when it is at its freshest by clipping the sprigs of dill weed close to the main stem of the plant.
Rinse the sprigs of dill under cold water to remove insects or garden soil.
Bring a saucepan of water to a rapid boil.
Grasp the dill sprigs with a set of tongs and dip them into the water to blanch. Allow them to boil for a moment or two until the dill changes colour. Blanching stops the enzymes responsible for maturing and preserves both the appearance and flavour.
Remove the sprigs and cool them under cold running water or by placing them in a bowl of ice water. This cools the dill quickly, preventing it from continuing to cook.
Blot the dill dry with a paper towel.
Place the dill in freezer bags and seal securely. Force out excess air as you seal the bag to avoid freezer burn.
Remove the dill whenever needed and chop it to add to sauces or other recipes.
Tips and warnings
- For individual portions of dill, chop finely before freezing. Place the chopped dill in ice cube trays and cover with water. Once frozen, place the cubes in a freezer bag. To use, simply drop a cube into the sauce and let it dissolve.
- Use caution when blanching dill. Steam from boiling water burns quickly.
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