Summer is almost here. I can officially wear flip-flops without my toes turning to ice, and I barely need a jacket to sit outside in the evening. The trees and flowers are green and gorgeous and hopeful, and I swear the smell of cut grass through my car window almost brought tears of joy to my eyes yesterday. Summer. It’s not just the weather that gets me excited about summer every year, but the change in the pace of life that comes with it. Whereas in the winter, when the sun goes down around 4, I can barely stay up until 9 pm, in the summer, I never want to go to sleep- I just want to sit outside and soak in all of the warm breezes and late-evening neighborhood sounds. We’re not quite there yet; it’s still raining pretty much every other day around here, and there has been some sad back-sliding in the sunshine department… but we’re so close.
I had some friends over yesterday and attempted, by sheer force of will, to make summer come sooner rather than later. We did this, namely, by drinking rosé and nibbling appetizers on the patio. We’re doing our part, for the good of us all. You are welcome. This recipe was the outcome of a long-ish cookbook search for something that would be sufficiently summer-y. Of course, in the end, Ina was the one with the answer. Who better than Ina Garten, who, in my mind, lives in an eternal summer in some magical land called the Hamptons, whipping up homemade pies and serving cocktails to her fabulous friends all day long? Of course she had the perfect recipe for me.
Admittedly, I’m a little embarrassed that after two days of radio silence, this is the “recipe” I have to offer you. I’m sure you were thinking that I’ve spent the past several days coming up with something extravagant for you all. And now I’ll I’ve got is dip. But I promise that after you try it, you’ll forgive me. It’s so simple to throw together that it almost doesn’t count as a recipe. You pretty much throw everything in a bowl and mix it up. But the sum is so much greater than the parts. The fresh herbs are the stars here- the dill and parsley and scallions make this simple dip so bright and fresh. It has the perfect salty kick to make it insanely addictive, and the sweetness from the cream cheese is a great accompaniment to crisp summer vegetables. You could easily substitute or add more fresh herbs for the parsley and dill, I’d imagine, so this would be a great thing to pull together at the last minute with whatever you have in your garden or kitchen planter. I feel it only fair to tell you, though, that this dip is made immeasurably more delicious when eaten outside with a glass of chilled wine.
Green Herb Dip
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa At Home
The original recipe calls for putting everything in a food processor to blend. If you’re like me, and rue the thought of hauling out your big food processor, and then cleaning it when you’re through, all for a little dip, do as I did and use a hand mixer. Just chop your herbs and the scallions a little finer. I also recommend letting the dip sit in the fridge for at least an hour or so before serving it, so that the flavors can really blend together. This is not to say that I didn’t eat some of it (ok, a lot of it) with extra veggies, straight from the bowl. But it was definitely more delicious a few hours later.
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise
¾ cup chopped scallions, with both white and green parts
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (either flat-leaf and curly is fine)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Using a hand-held mixer, beat all of the ingredients together. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve alongside any kind of veggies you like- I used cucumbers, radishes, and tomatoes, but the sky’s the limit.