I don't have any dill in the garden this year. I already have seeds for next year though. Can I use dill seed in place of fresh dill in pickles? If so how much dill seed = each head of fresh dill?
Paul, You may use dill seed instead of fresh. Sometimes I use both. If using only seeds, use 2 rounded teaspoons per pint of pickles.
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.
But most pickle recipes I'm familiar with call for some of both. And NCHFP offers a recipe that uses only seed so you might check it out.
Can you pick up a small spices container of some dried dill?
Thanks shirleywny5 & Dave. I picked up a container of dill seed the other day and I do already have some dried dill weed. So I understand that I can use the dill seed in place of fresh. If I was to use the dill weed, as opposed to dill seed, then I use less because it is more potent? Is that right?
I have used dill weed along with seeds. What I don't like is the tiny flecks of weed that stay on the pickles when serving. The seeds tend to stay on the bottom of the jar. If possible, buy dill seed in bulk. Those small containers in the supermarkets don't last very long and are outrageously expensive.
Thanks again. Yeah, I think it was like $5 for a little jar. I will have to dry and find it in bulk. I wonder if BJs or Sams Club sell it.
If I pick my straight eights a little early when they are small do you know if they would make better pickles?
Slicing type cukes, regardless of when they are picked, just don't make good pickles. You need to grow some of the many pickling type cukes for the best pickles. Pickling cukes have much less water in them, thinner skins, don't turn bitter like slicers do, and stay crisper when pickled.
But - if slicing varieties are all you have to choose from then yes, pick small and try to get them processed ASAP (within 12 hours is best).
And yes, if you are doing to use dried dill weed start with half as much. You can always add more later when the jars are opened for more dill flavor if needed.
Thanks Dave. I plan on growing pickling cucumbers next year. I have a handfull of straight eights that are starting to be picked now. When these plant started out, they weren't doing so good in all the rain I got here in New England, so I started another bunch of seeds. Now that the weather has straightened out here, the second bunch is catching up to the first bunch. If they grow ok I may just end up with way to many cukes to eat. That is why I am thinking pickles. What else can I do with them?
Well there are all kinds of recipes for salads and other fresh eating marinated cuke recipes. For canning they work best IMO in any of the various relish recipes. There is also Mock Apple Rings with cinnamon.
Browse through all the other discussions here on using cucumbers for even more ideas.
Here is a link that might be useful: Cuke discussions
FResh is always better. In fact, swelled green dill seeds are far better taste than the tan color dried ones. Dill weed has a slightly differnet taste. If you have dried dill weed and dill seeds, and they are old, it may be that are very weak in taste. I used to see tan color dried dill weed in small jars and would pass it by. I dry my own and its stored in Ball jars under vacuum. Right now, most of my dill has lost its foliage and is only growing the seed heads. I use these in my half sour fermented dills, along with lots of garlic. Straight eights are not a very good pickler as they have tougher thick skins and contain much more water, which will cause them to become very soft with tough skins. A better choice for pickles true pickling cukes and these are never peeled and are very crisp when made into pickles. A relish would work for the straight eights, but you would also add lots of chopped onions.
WOW! The list of things I could make with a cucumber go on and on and on. I will have to plan better for next year, but for now it looks like I have some homework to do and figure out what to do with all my cukes when they come in. I am going to grow my own dill next year too, so I can keep seed at end of the year, along with fresh dill for pickles.
Ksrogers...do you remove the seeds when making relish with straight 8 cukes? My dill seeds were bought recently, but are probably all dried up and weak.
If there is very little smell from the dill seed jar, they are probably very old. Most markets sell fresh dill weed in bunches, so its eay to find it in supermmarkets. Most of my dill is mammoth size and some reached a record 7 foot tall this year! Most are now producing the tan seed heads and these fall where they may and then show up as next years dill plants, all over my back yard and in cracks in the concrete. This year, my cukes took an extra month to get to maturity to bearing stage, and most of my dill is almost passed, as all the weed leaves are dead and tan color, and not very useful. I didn't plant a single dill seed this year, and had ennough of it to make at least 60 quarts of pickles, and then some. Dills are nothing without plenty of garlic added too. Straight 8 seeds are a bit tough, so its good to quarter the cukes and cut out the seed area on bigger ones. Leave the skins on as they do hold up quite well as a chopped relish.
I always swap out dill seed in my pickles when I don't have fresh heads of dill available. I use a tablespoon of the seeds in place of the head of dill. And I recommend buying them at your local health food store or co-op which is bound to have them in bulk for much less $$$!
Here is a link that might be useful: Lindsey's Luscious