The Delightful Dill Flower

This is a blog post I wrote last summer for a school assignment. With summer right around the corner, I thought it would be a great post to share to inspire readers to start using unfamiliar ingredients. There's a lot of information about dill flowers in this post and a delicious potato recipe included, enjoy!


This past weekend I purchased an herb that I had never cooked with before, the dill flower. I have used fresh dill, usually purchased in a plastic clam shell at the grocery store, many times, but I had never seen the flowers for sale at the market. They were so beautiful and cost effective at only $2.50 for the bundle, that I could not pass them up.



I purchased my dill flowers from the Lebanon, Oregon originated Persephone Farm stand located at the Portland State University Saturday farmer's market. The owners of the farm, Jeff and Eleanor, were not at the farm stand, however the young woman who sold me the flowers was very helpful when it came to any questions I had for her about how to use the dill flowers.

When I inquired to the young woman running the farm stand about different culinary ways I could go about using the dill flowers, she suggested either baking with them, making dill pickles, making an herb butter or drying them. I decided to roast the flowers with some potatoes as a side dish for dinner that night. Here is the roasted potatoes with dill flowers recipe:

Roasted Potatoes with Dill Flowers:
(Yields: Four 1 cup servings):

Ingredients:

1 pound baby potatoes
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup minced fresh dill flowers
1/2 cup fresh dill flowers for garnish

Preparation:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. 
  2. Combine the potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic and dill flowers in a large glass baking dish. 
  3. Roast the potatoes for 45 minutes to one hour. Once the potatoes are fork tender transfer them to a bowl and garnish with the fresh dill flowers.



As simple as this dish may seem, it was a learning experience to get the right balance of dill flavor without it taking over the dish. Roasting the potatoes in the fresh dill flowers did help to flavor the potatoes with dill, but it was subtle. To add more dill flavor, garnishing with the fresh flowers is crucial. Once I had the correct amount of dill in the dish, the balance of garlic, potato and dill flavor was perfect.


Macro & Micro Nutrient Content in Dill:

Dill has a diverse and rich nutrient content. In 1 cup of sprigs there are 0.62 grams of carbohydrates, 0.31 grams of protein, 0.1 grams of fat, 0.2 grams of fiber and 7.65 grams of water.

There are a number of beneficial micro nutrients in 1 cup of dill sprigs as well. These include:
  • calcium- 19 mg
  • iron- 0.59 mg
  • magnesium- 5 mg
  • phosphorus- 6 mg
  • potassium- 66 mg
  • sodium- 5 mg
  • zinc- 0.08 mg
  • copper 0.013 mg
  • manganese- 0.112 mg
  • vitamin C- 8 mg
  • thiamin- 0.005 mg
  • riboflavin- 0.026 mg
  • niacin- 0.14 mg
  • vitamin B-6- 0.016 mg
  • folate- 13 mcg
  • vitamin A- 687 IU

A Closing Statement:

Dill is a very easy herb to grow and have on hand for whenever needed. It can be grown indoors or in an outdoor garden and can be preserved by drying. 

This wonderful herb has been shown to have stomach soothing properties, particularly after a meal (http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=71#historyuse).  As a future nutritionist it is beneficial to be aware of dill's wonderful soothing properties to recommend it as a natural digestive aid. It also has many macro and micro nutrients (listed above) that would be beneficial for any individual to add to their diet. I would recommend to a client ways to incorporate more dill into their every day lives, such as adding it to dishes as a natural flavor and nutrient enhancer. All in all, dill is truly a delightful herb!

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