fresh dill

Sticky summer weather has struck with a vengeance, and my salad spinner is getting a workout this week. I decided to pull out an old favorite last night, and it just so happens that the ingredient that makes this salad so special fits right in with this week’s theme for the 2009 Summer Fest.

2009 Summer Fest Badge

There was a little Greek restaurant I used to frequent when I lived and worked in Detroit, and I probably ordered their “Tommy’s Salad” once or twice a week. At first glance it was a pretty standard Greek salad, with feta and olives and lots of crunchy vegetables, but the addition of copious amounts of fresh dill took it to another level.


I still had plenty of dill at home from Saturday’s farmers’ market at Lippitt Park, and on my way to the train station I swung through the Boston Public Market and grabbed a head of romaine, a few small, super-ripe field tomatoes, and some Diva cucumbers. I had asked Mike to set aside one of the breasts from the Poulet Rouge he cut up for our Sunday chicken dinner, and when I got home I briefly marinated it in a bit of lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and salt before searing it in an iron skillet and chopping it into bite-sized chunks. I quick pickled some thinly sliced Chioggia beets and sliced up a few Purplette onions to add to the salad as well, and crumbled up plenty of Narragansett Creamery Salty Sea feta.

The chopped vegetables, chicken and feta all went into a big salad bowl along with a hefty handful of picked dill fronds, then I drizzled on my basic lemon vinaigrette and tossed it all together. I scattered a few Kalamata olives and more fresh dill over our individual portions, and we ate our salads with freshly made pita bread. Not a bad way to beat the heat.

11 thoughts on “Dill-icious

  1. Phillip says:

    I have recently been introduced to your site, and to be quite frank, I apprceiate you and Mike taking the time to share your love of food and your talents with us. I am a culinary student and I have been perusing through your site and its is so exciting for me to see the food that is produced. I love nothing more than to look in the pantry and put together a meal from fresh, relatively simple ingredients. Inspiration at its best – Thank you.

  2. Thanks for joining our Summer Fest and reminding me to go out to the far bed where a lot of dill has self-sown and get some of it for tonight’s supper. See you soon again.

  3. Thank you for posting this on the Summer Fest sites, which is how I found you. I never use enough dill, even though I love it. It just doesn’t get the star turn that basil, cilantro and rosemary get. Well-done!

  4. ah, Poulet Rouge with fresh tomatoes, olives and dill. I’m just betting the stores in SE Texas don’t have Poulet Rouge, so I’ll live vicariously through the photo. looks brilliant.



  5. Jen says:

    That sounds just fabulous! I have some homegrown tomatoes, onions and cucumbers in the fridge, some homegrown pickled beets in the pantry, and tons of dill… can’t wait to try this! I’m thinking a vegetarian version with some garbanzos might hit the spot. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  6. The salad looks great, Jen! I miss good salads! In this part of India, dill is used and prepared more like a vegetable, rather than a herb, if that makes sense. To eat with rice and dal. Growing up, I didn’t like it very much, but I really enjoy it these days.

  7. Jennifer Hess says:

    Phillip – Thank you!

    Margaret Roach – Thanks, it was great fun seeing what creative things everyone else is doing with fresh herbs. I look forward to the next installment!

    Chef Gwen – Thank you! I think dill is sorely underrated – hope we can change that!

    Hillary – Thanks! That cuke and dill salad sounds great. So simple and fresh!

    heather – I think any good chicken will work just as well here 🙂 Cheers!

    Jen – Funny you say that, the original salad was meatless, and the chicken was an add-in. Garbanzos sound like a great addition!

    Curry – Thanks! Wow, that’s really cool – I wish I knew more about Indian cooking. Such a varied and beautiful cuisine, I need to explore it further.

  8. Kristin from Syracuse says:

    Hi Jen!

    HE”S BACK!!

    So I am sitting in my office and I turn around and there he is. Dressed in desert cami holding roses and my heart :). Surprising me, 2 or so months early but just in time to start hitting the perfect part of tomato season at the farmer’s market!!

    This post is the perfect welcome home post for him. Lots of great pictures and tempting things to try out. He has been unable to access your blog through this deployment – but now he is home and he will have to go back through the pics I sent him and start cooking!

    Thanks again for giving me something to look forward to. ((Last night I came home to a wild rice and salmon concoction that was awesome)) You have no idea how ‘in touch’ with my future life you and Mike made me feel. Thank you thank you, thank you.

    Take care!

  9. Jennifer Hess says:

    Kristin – Hooray! Oh, I am weeping happy happy tears for you both. Please give Rey a big hug and a THANK YOU for me. I am so glad you two can finally settle back in to your life, and with plenty of summer left to enjoy. Cheers!

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