help dill seed vs. dill weed

sharon_nc_40(7b NC)July 13, 2009

Hi,everyone making dill relish today,Have never made this question to all of you experienced canners is can I substitute dill seed for dill weed,the recipe calls for dill weed and I have plenty of dill seed and no dill weed the recipe calls for a half cup of dill weed,how much dill seed would I need to substitute for the weed Thanks in advance ............Sharon

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

1/2 c of dill weed!!! WOW that is an awfully lot. Most recipes are in teaspoons.

The seed and the weed are so different in flavoring (weed is much stronger in flavor than seed) that most cooks recommend against substituting one for the other. Dill seeds have more of a flavor like fennel or even caraway. Plus it definitely will change the texture of the relish.

Given that I would recommend against the substitution. Check out the NCHFP recipe for Dill relish as it uses seeds.


Here is a link that might be useful: Dill Pickle Relish

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 1:47PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Dill weed is sold in every supermarket. Its in the produce section where you also find fennel, parsley, and many other leafy herbs. The dill seeds don't have quite the same taste as the weed. If the seeds are old, they lose a lot of flavor too. I pickle when the fresh dill seed heads have swelled green buds that form the tan color seeds once mature. My dill is growing wild now, and has been overtaking some areas where I have other plants. It drops seeds in fall and they survive the winters here and are the first greens to emerge in spring. Some of my dill have stalks that are as big around as my finger and are taller than 5 feet!

Just took this photo a few minutes ago..

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 2:03PM
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gardnpondr(Zone 8)

Oh my goodness! I would LOVE to grow it like that so when I needed it I would have it on hand!!! VERY NICE!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 8:57PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Wish my cuke plants would get going. They are still only 8 inches tall and sitting there doing nothing. The dill will soon be all seed and no weed. Some weed is aleady turning tan color and will soon be producing seeds, long before the cukes ever start growing. You cant see it from here, but behind the mass of dill and under the back part of the greenhouse I have two huge thyme plants, and some French tarragon. The big yellow thing on the right side is a huge sunflower that sprouted in spring and came from some bird seeds I put out every winter.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 2:12AM
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Ken, can you dry your dill weed or will that change the flavor too much?

My dill is as puny as my cukes.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 9:13AM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

We seem to have something that re-seeds every year in the wild. It smells a lot like anise or perhaps fennel. I keep hoping to find some wild dill - but it always turns out to be anise instead. Wonder if dill likes a cold dormant stage.

I saved dill weed one summer. Froze it and put in a plastic ziploc bag. It seems to lose flavor if dried - as does mint and cilantro - to my taste.

I'm having fairly good results with mint this season. Drying outside between screens - until almost dry, removing the stems then and freezing the leaves in serving amounts for iced tea, putting in a plastic bag - then into a freezer container. The mint seems to be holding flavor very well. Never had much luck with drying it before.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 12:45PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

As I have mentioned many times in the past. Dill seeds do survive cold winters and will sprout very early in spring. Thats how all the dill came up this year, as I never planted even a single dill seed. It would never show up wild in a place, unless it was initially planted there, or some wild life has carried the seeds. The mass of it is growing where my saffron crocus are planted and they start showing up about mid to late Sepetmeber.

As to dill weed. Yes, I have dried it in a dehydrator and crumble it. I put it in quart canning jars and use the Food Saver jar attachment to pull a vacuum on the jar and it also seals a lid under vacuum. The dill weed, packed that way can remain quite strong for up to two years. I am still using a lot of it from that time. I dry mine in a cheap RONCO dehydrator and its never given me any issues or problems. Air drying will cause its color to fade a little and the taste isn't as strong if its air dried.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 1:25PM
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Ken, Your dill is beautiful at about the same stage as mine. Not dry enough yet to collect seeds. I did 3 batches of pickles already using the green fronds only and dry dill seed, which I bought. Seems the dill always come after the pickles, but not this year. Only a few of my dill heads have seeded. I did use some of the green seed heads in my pickles jars though. I am growing Mammoth. Yours looks similar.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 3:18PM
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Good to know that you can dry and keep the dill weed for next year. Thanks Ken.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 7:04PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Yes, a vacuum packed jar is the best way as it will help hold flavor and that bright green color. Most of mine are at the later stages of tiny yellow flowers, and a few have sweled green seeds. I pick usually when the seed heads are still green and swelled as they have more taste that way. I like a LOT of dill flavor and also use Mrs. Wages dil pickle mixes for both vinegar types and fermented half sours. Dont forget the garlic!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 8:39PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

Ken - I have one fairly decent dill plant - (I was drooling over your picture of them), but will settle for what I can get.

As my pickles are almost gone - I just fermented the last half-gallon a few days ago - so think I will gather some fresh seeds from that one dill plant and do a little "wild" sowing. (Imagine that - sowing wild oats - er - dill - at my age too).

Ken were you able to get any plants in at all after that nasty rainy weather?

My summer stuff is about fried - after a couple of hot afternoons - except for some sorry looking cherry toms and about 8 - 10 assorted peppers - 2 of which went through a winter dormant period - hot types I think.

So - I'm taking a breather until September, when the fruit will be coming ripe in the local mountain fruit stands. Then hope to "do" a lot of juice - apples, peach, pears in jars.

Squeezed another 2 pints of kraut in - now fermenting in the pantry, along with some zucchini pickles.

Just my 2 c's.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 11:01AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

One? Here, there are about fifty that over 5 foot tall and I have more on the other side of the garden not in the photo. When I put dill seeds in my pickle jars I use the whole head or more in half gallon jars. I planted everything the first week of June, and also put out plants I started in pots back in April. The overnight temps are also very cool now, almost like its late August. The melons and cuke plants need a lot of warm soil to grow. I expected my brussels sprout plants to be at least 2-3 feet tall by now, but they are still small, and were also started indoors back in April. Next year, I may start stuff in early March instead. By June, a tomato plant is over 3 feet tall if I start it in March. I think I will pick all the dill seeds off before they drop. I don't want as much of a spread as I had this year. Behind that big sunflower on the right, are the 30 brussels sprout plants. My apples are usually ready to pick about mid August, very early varieties.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 2:33PM
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