Dill Weed Leaf
Dried leaves of the dill plant are called dill weed [as distinguished from dill seeds, which have a different taste and uses]. Dill weed is "herb-like" and dill seed is "spice-like"; the seeds have a stronger flavor than the weed.
The fernlike leaves of dill weed are aromatic, like caraway, and are used widely in Russian, German, Indian, and Scandinavian cooking. The Vikings named the herb dilla [not after the rapper J. of the same last name], meaning "soothing," and used dill weed to help ease colic in babies. First century Romans thought dill was a symbol of good luck. Other traditional uses of dill included guards against witchcraft, and in love potions.
Dill weed is often paired with fish, potatoes, and cucumbers, and is a popular ingredient in dips, salad dressings, and cream sauces. The flavor of dill leaves diminishes with cooking, so use generously, and/or right before serving. Besides adding flavor, dill weed is an attractive addition to recipes. Added to pickles, dill retains its bright color. Try dill weed on potatoes.
Dill seed and dill weed are used in distinctly different ways, although both may be used together in foods such as pickles, salad dressings, vinegars, and sauces. The use of dill weed in dishes such as potato salad is fairly common in the United States.