There is one thing salmon and chicken nuggets have in common, and that thing is dill. Right down to the flower heads and seeds, every part of the dill weed is vital to one recipe or the other.
Asides, spicing salmon, you can have dill dip, dilly beans, dill pickles, and dill bread. The list is endless. So, if you happen to get it at a reduced price in a store, or grow some in your backyard, how do you preserve it so it can be enjoyed all year round.
Can you freeze dill? Yes, you can. Freezing dill preserves the flavor more than drying does. Preserving the flavor of the dill weed is so tricky, but freezing seems to work just fine. Freezing prolongs the shelf life of this herb for 4 to 6 months. Any longer than that and the flavor begins to fade very quickly.
Keeping the flavor of the dill weed intact is an important job. As it fades very quickly, drying it would mean it would last no more than 3 months before losing the flavor.
Freezing doesn’t entirely keep the flavor intact too, but it does the job well that drying does. So, how do you freeze dill?
How to Freeze Dill
Just like you freeze other herbs, the process of freezing dill is short and very easy. There are several ways by which you can freeze dill, and we will be discussing the two most practiced methods. These methods work towards the same aim, but your choice would be dependent on your cooking style.
- Freezing dill
- Freezing dill in water or olive oil into cubes
Like we mentioned earlier, your method of freezing dill is entirely dependent on your cooking style or how you intend to use it after freezing. So, this method is best suitable for people that love to use their dill to spice other items or in salads and dips.
Step 1: Cleaning your Dill
When anything is coming from your garden or not packaged when you bought it at the store. You must clean them. Some people wash their herbs or greens with a little amount of vinegar to kill germs. But, I can’t vouch for the vinegar not to change the taste of flavor.
Wash your dill weed under running water thoroughly and drain it in a colander. Dry the dill weed by patting it with a paper towel till it is dry to the touch.
Step 2: Chopping your Dill
Cut off the stalk of your dill weed. Fold the sprigs, with a sharp knife, chop them into small sizes. You don’t have to chop it into fine sizes, just make sure you chop it into even sizes.
Step 3: Flash Freezing
You need to flash freeze your dill weeds so that they do not stick together upon freezing. You might think this is unnecessary, but it could make using the frozen dill a lot harder than it’s supposed to be.
Get a cookie sheet, spread the dill weed on the sheet, and make sure that the dill is not overlapping. Overlapping would mean a longer flash-freezing time or some of the dill not even flash freezing at all. Place the sheet in the freezer to freeze for 12 hours or overnight.
Step 4: Storage and Freezing
Take the sheet out of the freezer after the dill weeds must have frozen solid, pack the dill from the sheet and scoop them into an airtight freezer bag. You can use more than one bag if you have much dill to freeze.
Press the bag flat to expel excess air before you seal it. Always remember to label the bag stating the contents and date of the freeze before putting the bag in the freezer to freeze.
Freezing Dill in Water and Olive Oil into Cubes
This method is perfect if you want to use your frozen dill in soups, pasta, and cooked dishes. Follow all the methods as described above, wash the dill weed, dry it. Then chop it into coarse pieces.
Get an ice cube tray, put your chopped dill leaves into the cubes. Then fill the cubes with water or olive oil, according to your cooking preference. Pour until the dill weed is completely immersed but leave headspace for expansion of the water as it freezes. Put your tray into the freezer till the cubes freeze solid.
Now, for the storage part and freezing for long purposes, pry the cubes from the tray and pack them into a doubled airtight freezer bag. Double the bag for an extra layer of protection.
Press the bag flat to release all the air before you seal it. Do not forget to label the bags before you place them into the freezer to freeze long term.
How to Thaw Frozen Dill
Frozen dill can be used in dishes and recipes without thawing. The dill leaves are very light so they thaw quickly as they cook. You can even add frozen dill herbs to salad and it would match with the dish. Ice cube dill can be thrown into soups or thawed in a strainer on the counter.
Is Dill Poisonous?
Dill is safe to eat. Dill is also safe when applied orally for medicinal purposes. It is sometimes applied to the mouth and throat to help reduce or cure inflammation. But, Dill can cause skin irritation upon contact with the skin.