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Taste

Oprah Doesn't Know How To Tell Fennel From Dill, And It's A Common Mistake

Herbs are confusing.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver just schooled Oprah Winfrey over an herbal gaffe many of us might have made ourselves.

Over the weekend, the media star and gardening enthusiast posted an Instagram showing off what she thought was a huge haul of dill.

“What to with all this dill?” she asked, noting it was #harvestday.

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on

Turns out the green stuff is actually fennel, a plant with an edible bulb and leaves that are used an herb. Chef Jamie Oliver was quick to point out the mistake and offer some recipe suggestions.

“That’s fennel mate,” he commented. “I love it roasted, slowly fry it until sweet, very finely slice it for salads with olive oil salt and pepper it’s delicious enjoy.”

Oprah thanked Oliver, designer Zac Posen and other faithful fans who corrected her. “No wonder I can’t figure out what to do with it,” she said.

The flub may be giggle-worthy, but we can’t really blame her: Fennel and dill do look a lot alike due to their bright green fronded tops.

Fennel’s first give-away is usually its bulb, which tastes something like savory licorice. You can thinly slice and add it to appetizers, sides and main dishes alike, especially those containing citrus or fatty ingredients like avocado. Eat it raw for an anise-like flavor, or roast it to bring out its subtle sweetness. The fronds sometimes come attached to the bulb in the grocery store, and they make a great addition to salads.

Dill has a thin stem and lacy leaves. Its bright, fresh flavor takes soup, pasta and fish dishes to the next level ― not to mention how it elevates pickles. It’s perfect with root vegetables and salmon, plus it accents potatoes, eggs and cheese well, too.

Got some fennel or dill on your hands? Here’s how to get the most out of your fresh herbs.

Foods For Health: Herbs And Spices