In this brief guide, we will provide an answer to the question, “How to counteract too much dill in a recipe?”. We will further elaborate on the different approaches that will help you counteract too much dill in a recipe.
How to counteract too much dill in a recipe?
Anethum graveolens L. (dill) believed to be the native of South-west Asia or South-east Europe. The main constituents of dill oil are a mixture of a paraffin hydrocarbon and 40 to 60% of d-carvone (23.1%) with d-limonene (45%). It also consists of α-phellandrene, eugenol, anethole, flavonoids, coumarins, triterpenes and phenolic acids. This aromatic herb is commonly used for flavoring and seasoning of various foods such as pickles, salads, sauces and soups. Fresh or dried leaves are used for boiled or fried meats and fish, in sandwiches and fish sauces (1).
If you have accidentally added too much dill to your dish and are desperately searching for ways to counteract it, do not fret, here we have prepared a long list of approaches to help you counteract too much dill in your recipe, and to make it suitable to serve.
- Cook for some more time
- Physically remove the dill
- Add a piece of potato
- Add an acid
- Dilute the dish
Different approaches to counteract too much dill in a recipe
Dill is an aromatic herb that has a sweet, citrusy and slightly bitter flavor. It can enhance the flavors in various meaty and vegetable recipes.
Just like most seasonings, the properties of dill can instantly ruin a dish when it is added in abundance. An excess amount of dill can make the dish bitter and unsavory.
Try the approaches below to counteract too much dill in your recipe.
Physically remove the dill
If you have added too much dill to your dish, the first thing you can do is to remove the excess directly. However, this strategy will not work if you have added finely chopped dill to your recipe. It can only work if the recipe requires you to add whole stems of dill.
Directly extract the whole stems of dill from the recipe using a ladle-sized slotted spoon just when you have realized your blunder. If the dill is on the surface of the meat, you can simply wash it off prior to seasoning again.
In case the dill has flavored your dish by the time you realize your blunder, you will then have to implement any of the several approaches from the list we have provided but you must still try to remove it first. Keeping it in will add more flavor to your dish.
Cook for some more time
As dill is fairly delicate, its flavor will decrease rapidly when it is cooked for some more time. If your recipe can tolerate some additional times of cooking, you can cook out the excess dill flavor.
Chemical reactions accelerate with increasing heat due to the temperature-dependence of the reaction rate as expressed by the Arrhenius equation. A temperature rise of 10°C approximately doubles chemical reaction rates, a relation that can be consulted to predict stability at different temperatures. Hence, both autoxidation as well as decomposition of hydroperoxides advances with increasing temperature, even more so since heat is likely to contribute to the degradation of essential oils present in the dill (2).
It is even claimed that by allowing the dish to stay in the fridge for a night, the extra strong dill flavor disperses and makes the dish suitable to serve again.
Add a piece of potato
Potatoes can work greatly to reduce bitterness. They consist of starch with a mild flavor and are particularly great at absorbing excess flavors.
Starch, as a major food macronutrient, consists of two major types of a-glucans on the molecular level: the linear amylose and the branched amylopectin. When starch is heated in the presence of water, the granules start to absorb water and swell. Phenolic compounds, such as in the dill limonene and carvone, present in the solution interact with the starch by non-covalent linkages to form either inclusion complex in the form of amylose single helices facilitated by hydrophobic effect, or complex with much weaker binding most through hydrogen bonds (3)..
A peeled and boiled half-cut potato can be added to the recipe to counteract too much dill in the recipe.
Put the half-boiled potato into the dish that will absorb the bitter flavor of the dill. Remove the potato once tender and enjoy the dish as if nothing happened.
Add an acid
Like potatoes, adding an acid can work greatly to counteract too much dill in a dish. The acid in the vinegar acts by masking the herbaceous celery-like flavor of dill. In a potato salad or any other recipe, some amount of vinegar will help to neutralize the dill flavor while enhancing the general flavor profile of the recipe.
Studies show that the off-flavors caused by high amounts of essential oils in the food formulation could be masked when an apple-lemon juice blend was incorporated, because of the presence of fruit acids, such as citric and malic acid (4).
Dilute the dish
You can dilute the flavor of the excess dil by multiplying other ingredients. This approach helps to reduce the bitterness and unpalatable flavor caused by too much dill.
For example, if you are cooking a sauce and the recipe instructs one tin of tomatoes, add one more tin of tomatoes but do not add any dill this time.
Mix thoroughly and allow to simmer for some more time so the flavors blend well. Diluting the dill will dilute other flavors too, so taste the dish to have an idea of what else is needed.
Continue to add the ingredients as needed. Start with the main ingredients first, then add the spices, mix thoroughly and try in between every addition.
You may have to add additional flavorings, but by doubling the number of tomatoes, you have directly distributed the amount of dill in the dish, counterbalancing its taste moderately. You may then keep the extra amount for a separate dish or store to use later.
We hope these suggestions will assist you. Still, if nothing goes for you, don’t be troubled. Learn from your blunders and try again.
In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “How to counteract too much dill in a recipe?”. We have further elaborated on the different approaches that will help you counteract too much dill in a recipe.
- Jana, Sonali, and G. S. Shekhawat. Anethum graveolens: An Indian traditional medicinal herb and spice. Pharmacogn rev, 2010, 4, 179.
- Turek, Claudia, and Florian C. Stintzing. Stability of essential oils: a review. Comprehen rev food sci food safe, 2013, 12, 40-53.
- Zhu, Fan. Interactions between starch and phenolic compound. Trend Food Sci Technol, 2015, 43, 129-143.
- Yen, Philip Pui‐Li, David D. Kitts, and Anubhav Pratap Singh. Natural acidification with low‐pH fruits and incorporation of essential oil constituents for organic preservation of unpasteurized juices. J food sci, 2018, 83, 2039-2046.