Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Herby Panzanella!

Dill is one of my favourite herbs. My mom usually uses it to add flavour and greens to Akki Roti, an all time fave at my house. When I first saw Dill or Sabakki as we call it at the Indian store, I was ballistic, and bought a bunch home. In my enthusiasm of having correlated that dill = sabakki, and that it was easily available, I used up the entire bunch of dill for my first Akki Roti experiment. A hated it. It was way too bitter and I had to beg him since then everytime I had to buy dill! Ultimately, I stopped. Not because he said no. But, actually, I stopped being the romantic newly-wed wife who woke up early to make delicious breakfasts for the early bird husband of hers. So, no reason to buy dill, I thought and left it at the herb stall at my Indian store after having touched it lovingly. Last week, when I went to the Indian store, I made an on the spot resolution to wake up early from the next day and reaffirm my love to A. After a week of the dill lying in the fridge, I figured that if I my love for A had not made me wake up early, this rotting dill certainly won't! But I had to use it!



I'm an insomniac and have endless nights thinking about food, unkept promises and resolutions. One such night proved to be an inspiration. I dreamt/thought about a creamy dill dressing for a Panzanella salad. Though I'm not a salad person, I love my Panzanella! The next day, I opened the fridge to be greeted by wilting mint leaves too. So, I decided to be firm and use up the mint too. This is what I did!

Ingredients:

1 bunch of dill leaves, chopped
A couple of mint leaves, chopped
2 tbsp yoghurt or sour cream (optional, I did not add it because I did not have it. But I'm sure the taste'd have gone up a notch)
1tsp powdered cumin seeds
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 carrot, chopped lengthwise, into thin strips
Pieces of bread - preferably stale
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt
Pepper



1. Blend chopped dill, mint and yoghurt/sour cream together in a blender. Add some salt and pepper to the dressing.

2. In a bowl, add the chopped onions, tomatoes and carrots, add salt and pepper, lemon juice and powdered cumin seeds. Mix well.

3. Add bread, mix well.

4. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Let it rest for 5 mins.

5. Attack it with a vengeance (I always eat salad with a vengeance. No prizes for guessing why!)

With my last helping of the salad, I also added some fat-free herb crackers to make it salad ala herb overload. It was delicious to bite into crunchy crackers in between the soft salad! I did not lettuce that day, however, am sure lettuce is a great addition. This is the only salad I dreamt about again! However, this time, I dreamt it with some olive oil and Parmesan action :P

17 comments:

Nags said...

hahaha nice post :) i am yet to see dill around here, in fact i have never cooked with it since even my mom never used it. don't think we see it much in kerala.

Sireesha said...

Looks delicious and fantastic...

Ranjani said...

Very nice!! I heart dill- so I'm giving this a shot!

PG said...

what a wonderful post! You dream about food recipes at night! wow! :D

Shreya said...

hi, nice post. I first saw Dill in Bombay, and asked what it is called in Hindi. Sowa leaves are regular in the market but I too have never used it at home. This recipe is really interesting. Love the colours.

Usha said...

Nice post...the salad looks yum:)

Passionate About Baking said...

hHlf our lives will go in an attempt to reaffirm our love for the better half...LOL! Dill is something I see often but don't know what to do with. This looks like a fine beginning...

Rico said...

The dish is just alive with colour, herbs. Simplicity sometimes is the best.

http://ricocoffeeshop.blogspot.com

Sireesha said...

WISHING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY A VERY HAPPY & PROSPEROUS DIWALI .....

Lisa Michelle said...

I love panzanella salads, and yours looks so refreshing and colorful. You guys make great dishes :)

Cynthia said...

I like the idea of dill but do not use it often, I find the flavour a little too grassy for me :)

Aparna said...

We get plenty of this here, and we tried very hard to like it but..........
I think its a bit of an acquired taste and we are yet to acquire it.:)
So if I left dill out, I'd say I liked your panzanella. But that's just me. :D

PG said...

hey, long time no hear!
Hope all is well. I have something for you both, please come and pick it up....

Cham said...

Hey where have u been both of u? Hope u guys are doing good. Happy New Year to both of you!

Usha said...

Just wanted to wish you both a very Happy New Year, have a wonderful 2009 :-)

crumpledpapers said...

is Dill the same as Shepu?

judging from the comments from everyone saying it is grassy and bitter, i think it is.

My mom used to use it as a leafy vegetable and make sabzi with boiled potatoes. As a kid I never appreciated the various flavors and tastes. I think I will like it now.

and with panzanella salad mmmmmm!!! yumm!!

crumpledpapers said...

oh i forgot to add.
Next time you try this, drizzle olive oil generously on 1 inch pieces of bread(preferrably some bread that is more crusty. try looking for an Italian crusty bread of a Portuguese crusty bread), crack some fresh black pepper on it and put it in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 275 degrees. Don't let them become as hard as croutons but dry and toasty enough so that when you mix it with the dressing, it will soak up the flavors wonderfully. Also panzanella salad works really well with toasted bell peppers!