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Sunday, 19 March 2006

tartare sauce (WHB#24: dill)

Filed under: crossblogging,food & drink,side,WHB — ejm @ 17:47 EDT

tartare sauce recipe

Weekend Herb Blogging #24: Dill (Anethum graveolens)

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tartare sauce When I make tartare sauce, I like to include fresh herbs if we have them.

But this is winter and while storebought herbs aren’t bad, they are on the expensive side, especially when you consider their slightly faded hothouse taste. We usually buy just one kind per week to stick into a little jar or vase placed on the counter. (You might have noticed the herb vases in some of the photos.) The parsley from the week before last was just too sorry looking to be added to the tartare sauce and out it went to the compost bin.

As soon as I get them home from the store, I wash the herbs, trim the stems and stick them in water. And then I change the water daily to keep the herbs as fresh as possible.

Weekend Herb Blogging: Dill
weekend herb blogging - © kalyns kitchen Dill (Anethum graveolens) is really beautiful with its lacy foliage. I love the taste. It’s great in tomato sandwiches and on steamed green beans (we had some with last night’s dinner) And did I mention that it is an essential ingredient in tartare sauce?

Now I like to put tarragon and parsley in tartare sauce. But what I really like to include is dill. Not just the dillweed (as the leaves are often called) itself but chopped dill pickles as well.

And capers. And pimento stuffed cocktail olives. And garlic. And onions. And good mayonnaise. And grainy mustard. And this most recent batch of tartare sauce had a couple of chopped piri-piri stuffed green olives. That’s what I really love about making my own tartare sauce. It is always a little different. It always tastes better than any commercially made tartare sauce.

read here about growing dill

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And why this sudden need for tartare sauce? To go with the fried fish we had last Friday (so THAT’S why it’s called Friday! …errr… Sorry about that. I won’t let that happen again.)

As I was saying… we just can’t have fried fish without tartare sauce! And if you’re clever, you’ll make just a bit too much tartare sauce and a bit too much fish so that you can have fried fish sandwiches for lunch the next day. Mmmmmmm.

Disaster averted! I just put Sher’s (What Did You Eat?) Sweet Potato Cornbread into the oven. It calls for a cup of flour. I decided to use ¾ c allpurpose and ¼ c wholewheat. No problem with that. But using the ½ c measure, I counted out 1… 2… 3… with the allpurpose flour as I dumped it into the wet ingredient bowl. And then as I was happily counting 1… for the wholewheat flour, I realized my mistake. With a dessert spoon, I carefully pulled out a cup of flour from the top. I cannot believe that I managed to get it out cleanly! That was close!!!


  • Kalyn

    I like to make tartar sauce too, and I agree, chopped dill pickles are a must. Last year my garden dill kind of died out, so this year I think I need a new plant.

  • ejm

    Dill is an annual so new plants are started each year anyway, Kalyn. But one of the great things about dill is that it will often seed itself. If you let some of last year’s plant flower and go to seed, chances are that it will come up somewhere in your garden this year. And it’s a funny plant. Apparently it likes to decide where it grows.

    In The Harrowsmith Illustrated Book of Herbs Patrick Lima wrote:

    For its own perverse reasons, dill is always better if left to find its own way around the garden. Year after year, we seed a careful patch […] each year, half-wild dill appears in outlying corners of the garden, while the planted seeds […] often come to nothing.

  • sher

    Yum–I love tartare sauce. There are some things that just don’t taste a good if you don’t have tartare sauce. And dill is so pretty.

  • ejm

    Yes indeed, some food just doesn’t taste right without the addition of good tartare sauce, does it, Sher? I’m such a fanatic about tartare sauce that I’ve actually put a little jar of it on ice to take with me if we are going out to a fish and chips joint. I really dislike those little plastic pouches of ultra-sweet tartare sauce that are provided by most restaurants.


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