As the seasons change I’m doing a bit of a stocktake in the garden; pulling up tired old plants and making notes on what’s done well, where and why. One plant that has really blown me away this season has been dill which I started from seed way back in May. I initially planted it out as a companion to the Broccoli as it is said to help keep the dreaded white moth at bay and encourage predatory insects like ladybugs.
The last of the brassica’s from this pot came up a few weeks ago and so the dill has had plenty of space and nutrients to grow. To my surprise it has gone absolutely crazy and is now well over a metre high. Not one to let things go to waste I’ve been trying to add dill to as many dishes as I can think of.
After a month of solid growth the main plant has now started to flower which is always a timely reminder that it won’t be around forever. Normally, I try to extend the life of plants when I see them bolting to seed but with this plant I don’t really mind. Dill flowers encourage the good bugs every gardener wants hanging around and I’ve already started to see some lady bugs lurking around nearby. Still, I wanted to use up some of the bountiful, frilly little fronds while I had the chance and decided a good way would be to whip up a batch of pesto.
Pesto is a great way to use up excess herbs because it’s so versatile. It keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks or you can freeze it and use it for ages. I decided to make up a batch and stir some through some freshly cooked risoni, the last of the seasons brassicas and some fresh peas I picked off the burgeoning plant out the back.
There are so many ways you could use this pesto, another wonderful option is to boil up some tiny kipfler potatoes and then stir through a couple of teaspoons of pesto and, of course, dill goes wonderfully well with eggs so why not add a teaspoon or two to your scramble one morning.
- 1 bunch of Dill
- ½ cup unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted (or cashews, walnuts or whatever you have on hand)
- 2 tbspns rice bran oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tbspn olive oil
- 1 tspn minced garlic
- 2 tbspns parmesan cheese (optional, leave out for vegan or if you want to freeze)
- In a small saucepan over a low heat, add the olive oil and minced garlic. Slowly heat it until it is aromatic. Be careful not to burn as it will become bitter, you just want to lightly cook the garlic and add fragrance to the olive oil. Allow to cool slightly.
- Remove the fronds from the main stem of the dill and roughly chop (compost the stems).
- In a blender (or mortar & pestle) add the dill, pistachios, lemon juice, rice bran oil, salt & pepper, parmesan (if using) and the garlicky olive oil.
- Blend until desired consistency is reached. If it's not blending enough you could add some more oil or water if you prefer to keep it on the lighter side.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container (I use an old jam jar).
- Will keep for a couple of weeks.