Dill weed vs. dill heads

I'm making a beet salad in which I normally rely on fresh dill weed (dried dill weed is a sad substitute). Our farmers' markets are full of flowery dill heads--great for pickling, but can I substitute them for dill weed in the salad recipe? (There are plenty of online opinions about whether one can substitute dill weed for dill heads, esp. in pickles, but nothing I can find about the reverse.)

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Nancy
Nancy August 11, 2015

you can always try a small amount, and see how you like it.
But while the dill seeds - like other seeds - give concentrated flavor when you bite into them, heat them or grind them, just adding them cold to the beet salad will give you less flavor and certainly little or none of the texture of dill weed.
To replace leafy dill weed, I would try one or a mix of parsley, lemon verbena, tarragon and the fronds from fresh fennel bulbs.

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Jennifer
Jennifer August 12, 2015

Hi Nancy, I'm not sure it will be any easier to track down lemon verbena than dill weed :)
But having said that--thanks for the extremely helpful explanation, which helps me understand why, despite the intensity of dill seed, previous attempts to sub them for dill weed have produced wimpy results

Nancy
Nancy August 12, 2015

Jennifer :) yes lemon verbena is not right up there in too 10 herbs at grocery store. I was too brief...it was in there to suggest and echo a slight citrus note in dill, which you could pick up from orange or lemon runs if you like. Glad the note was otherwise helpful.

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Nancy
Nancy August 12, 2015

Jennifer :) yes lemon verbena is not right up there in too 10 herbs at grocery store. I was too brief...it was in there to suggest and echo a slight citrus note in dill, which you could pick up from orange or lemon zest if you like. Glad the note was otherwise helpful.

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