Dill is the ultimate Nordic herb adding a special fresh and typically northern taste to almost every dish made with fish, shellfish, lamb and vegetables. Learn more about Scandinavian dill.
Scandinavian dill cannot be replaced with anything else. If you must, you can try a mix of fennel, parsley and tarragon, but it will not be the same, though still good. Dill seeds are not a successful substitute as they are more like caraway.
How it grows
Dill is an annual and a very easy herb to grow, particularly in partial shade. Sow it in a shallow drill from April onwards, water well, then thin to 5cm. You can pitch the soft leaves, or wait for the flowers, lime green and lovely, which are a herb in their own right, with a stronger, more caraway-like taste.
Dill is a prolific umbellifer, used for pickles, pickled fish, gravad fish, in mild spring stews with veal or lamb, and served with all kinds of fresh fish. It is perfect for boiling fish and shellfish and for marinating all kinds of vegetables. Spring or summer cabbage is lovely with dill.
Lamb stew with loads of dill
In this recipe, the dill penetrates the whole dish with a wonderfully, fresh green taste that Scandinavians love. You can add delicate spring vegetables, such as peas, spring cabbage, new carrots or asparagus, but it’s better to eat the vegetables on the side. In winter, you could add a root vegetable, such as scorzonera or salsify, parsley, or even celery.
If you ask your butcher to bone the lamb for you, make sure you ask to keep the bones.
1 neck of lamb or large shoulder or leg, boned (approx. weight 1.5kg, including the bones).
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 bouquet garni, consisting of the green parts of 1 leek, 2 celery sticks, the stalks from the dill (see below) and 1 sprig of fresh thyme.
Butter for frying
Salt and one teaspoon whole black peppercorns
200ml white wine or cider
A little plain flour for coating
200ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 large bunches of dill, chopped
Scandinavian dill, written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature photo (on top): Flowering dill. Solhatt.no