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What Are the Best Tips for Making Dill Sauce?

Dill seed.
Dill weed is often used to flavor sauces.
Dill pairs well with salmon.
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  • Written By: Elizabeth West
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 26 March 2014
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Dill sauce pairs well with fish, especially salmon. There are mixes available on the market, but it is best when prepared fresh. Basic ingredients can be found in most supermarkets. Dried dill is fine, although the herb is easy to grow in the kitchen at home. Cooking with herbs is a great way to cut down on sodium intake and add flavor to different types of foods.

Different recipes are available for dill sauce, but almost all of them contain lemon juice, pepper, a base such as sour cream, yogurt, or mayonnaise, an optional mustard, and dill. Additional ingredients, such as cucumber or capers, can be added. Combining the zesty citrus and tangy mustard with the heat of the pepper and aromatic dill complement the flavor of fish quite well. It is the traditional accompaniment to salmon.

Some cooks like to start with a basic white sauce made from flour, butter, and cream or milk. If making a heated sauce, it is best to add dill near the end of the cooking process to avoid destroying the flavor. Some recipes only require mixing the ingredients together. A diet-conscious dill sauce made with low-fat yogurt and finely-chopped cucumber sprinkled with the herb saves calories, though it may not have the richness of a butter or mayonnaise sauce.

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The dill sauce should be allowed to sit for a while in the refrigerator before serving to let the flavors blend. This gives dried dill a chance to release its flavor into the base. Dill sauce can be made ahead of time and then served when the fish is ready. This herb can also be served with meat, sprinkled in soups and stews, baked into biscuits, and added to dressings. The slender sprigs of fresh dill can either be wrapped in a damp paper towel and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week or snipped directly off the plant and used right away.

Cooking with herbs adds flavor to foods without a lot of sodium, so it is a good alternative for people watching their salt intake. Dried herbs are useful and keep longer than fresh, but they should be used within one to three years and stored in a cool dry place, such as a pantry. If they have no smell when crushed, they have probably lost their potency. Fresh herbs can be grown in the kitchen and used immediately. Numerous retailers sell kits that contain everything needed to start an herb garden, allowing cooks to enjoy fresh dill sauce anytime.

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Discuss this Article

OeKc05
Post 4

@seag47 – My sister makes a creamy dill sauce for salmon, and she uses heavy cream instead of yogurt. To me, this is what makes the sauce so great.

She also uses butter, so that just adds to the creaminess. Seriously, this sauce could be served in four-star restaurants. It is that good.

She puts salt, pepper, and dill in the butter and cream. She sautes a shallot in there, too.

She pours it over salmon when it is done, and I can't get enough of it. In fact, I like to cut up my salmon into bite-size pieces just so I can get more of the sauce around the fish.

seag47
Post 3

I had the best creamy dill sauce on top of my salmon at a nice restaurant last week. I really don't know what all was in it, though I could definitely detect lemon.

The thing that really impressed me about this sauce was that it was so thick! It had a deep, creamy flavor that didn't resemble yogurt or butter.

I don't have a lot of experience with cooking, especially not with making sauces, so I'm not able to decipher what was in it. Does anyone know how you could make a dill sauce so creamy without using yogurt or mayonnaise?

cloudel
Post 2

My dill sauce for fish does not contain mayonnaise or yogurt. In fact, it is more of a drizzle than a cream.

I made it to pour over steamed tilapia. When you steam fish, you really need to add something afterward to give it flavor. My dill sauce drizzle does just that.

I melt some butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Then, I add minced garlic, lemon juice, and dried dill. I stir it occasionally and let the flavors heat up together.

This same sauce goes great on top of steamed vegetables like zucchini and broccoli. Using the sauce is about the only way I can get my husband to eat his vegetables.

orangey03
Post 1

I had the best cucumber dill sauce inside a shrimp wrap at a Greek restaurant. When I asked the waitress what was in the sauce, she told me that it was basically just yogurt and cucumbers, but I did a little research once I got home, because I wanted to be able to make this sauce at home.

It's actually called “tzatziki sauce.” All you do is blend plain yogurt with olive oil, lemon juice, cucumbers, garlic, salt and pepper, and dill and refrigerate it for an hour before using it.

This sauce tasted perfect with my wrap that contained grilled shrimp, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. I think it would taste great with chicken, too.

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