Perhaps using Thyme would have been more appropriate but being a bit of a dill I went for Dill.
Dill is an annual herb known for it's delicate, feathery leaves and it's sweet yet mild aniseed flavour.
In Saxon times, dill water was used to soothe babies and it's still used today to help babies suffering with colic. For the Romans and Greeks it was considered a sign of wealth and also proved popular due to it's perceived healing properties.
Today, these healing properties can be traced to two components - Monoterpenes and Flavonoids which help to remove damaging free radicals and carcinogens from our system. The volatile oils in Dill also have anti-bacterial properties.
Nutritionally Dill contains Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Selenium and Zinc as well as Vitamins A, BI, B2, B3, B6 and C.
This week I'm opting for another George Calombaris recipe from the March issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller - you might remember a few weeks ago for WHB#73 that I made his Saganaki Martini. Like the martini, this is also a dish we've eaten at his restaurant where it partnered the most amazing deep fried Quail we had ever tasted.
The dish I'm making is Beetroot Tzatziki - roasted beetroots combine with thick Greek yoghurt that has been flavoured with orange and lemon rinds, shallots, garlic and dill. The combination is fragrant with the sweetness of the beetroots heightened by the citrus rinds. The colour, inspiring, the taste divine - this is tzatziki as you've not had it before.
400 grams beetroots/beets
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground salt
200 grams Greek Yoghurt, strained
1 orange, rind finely grated
1 lemon, rind finely grated
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
5 sprigs dill, finely sliced
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Place the beets/beetroot into a baking dish and drizzle over with olive oil and season with freshly ground salt. Give them a bit of a stir to ensure they are well coated before placing in the oven to cook for about 1 hour or until tender. Naturally enough the time needed will depend on the size of the beetroot used - try to choose beetroot of the same size.
Let them cool slightly before peeling and dicing them into small cubes.
Put the drained yoghurt into a bowl along with the orange and lemon rinds, shallots, garlic and dill - stir well before adding the beetroot cubes.
Season with freshly ground salt and black pepper to taste.
A perfect companion to a variety of meats or enjoy it as a chunky dip served on roughly torn shards of warmed pita bread.
Tagged with Weekend Herb Blogging : WHB