If there were a 12-step program for dill addiction, I would be on my way. I love the stuff, and apply it in many, many dishes. When Brian first met me, he had to consider his future: her and dill or .. He has accommodated. He wasn’t anti-dill, just inexperienced. After all, let’s face it: 99% of the use of dill is in making pickles. I have a broader horizon.
Over the next few weeks there will be some dill recipes sprinkled here. It turns out that the very bright dill flavors, ones we all recognize, work successfully with cheeses, cucumbers, and in beverages. Dill can be an accent, or it can be a dominant player.
Dill is very prominent is this tart recipe, from Puff by Martha Holmberg, that we cooked last weekend. It was very hot, we were very tired, and we wanted a simple dish to be the entire meal. This tart had us both satisfied and rested, because it’s also a breeze to make. The dill makes for an eye-opening flavor experience. The feta cheese and puff pastry give it substance. A small slice of this tart is a great first course, but we did big slices and made it the meal. With a Vouvray or Riesling, this is all you need.
Oh, maybe not quite all. Look for a dill dessert this weekend.
Feta and Dill Tart with Lemony Spinach Salad
Yield: serves 4
2 large eggs
⅓ cup crème fraîche or heavy creams
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill plus ½ cup loosely packed dill sprigs
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the salad
Freshly ground pepper
1 sheet (about 9 ounces) frozen pastry, thawed
1 cup (about 4 ounces) crumbled good-quality feta
4 small handfuls baby spinach or baby arugula leaves, washed and dried well
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon, plus more to taste
Preheat the oven over 425°F. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, crème fraîche, chopped dill, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt, and about 10 grinds of pepper.
On a lightly floured counter, roll pastry into an 11 x 13″ rectangle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wet the edges with water and fold over a ¾-inch border. Distribute the feta evenly within the border and then carefully pour the egg mixture and cheese, taking care that it doesn’t slosh onto the border. Carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the pastry is puffed and brown on the border and the underside, and the filing is golden brown, about 18 t0 20 minutes.
Slide tart off the pan onto a rack to cool a bit. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into four rectangles, so that each piece gets some border. Put the tart onto plates.
In a large bowl, toss the spinach and dill sprigs with the olive oil and lemon juice until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice to taste. Arrange a handful of salad on each piece of tart and serve immediately.
Source: Puff by Martha Holmberg