Keep Cool*


I am a bit of a hothead. My husband is not. He keeps his cool. He even eats cool. He likes dill, a cooling herb which he fondly associates with his German grandmother and her weighs-a-ton potato kugel.

Digestive and restorative, dill is a nice source of vitamin A, which you need to keep all your bits, from skin to teeth to bones, in fine form. It’s an easy-growing herb with sweet-smelling feathery fronds and a flavor purported to be mild. Even its name is mild, coming from an old Norse word dilla, to lull. I say unto you, do not be lulled. Dill can easily overpower a recipe. For all its demure-seeming ways, it’s a nervy little herb.

I remain wary of it, stemming from an unfortunate childhood incident involving dill pickles, which I still will not eat, don’t ask me to. However, there’s been some detente in the dill department. I enjoy it recipes where it’s kept in check by bolder flavors like paprika and tomatoes. I even created this creamy dill dip which is totally vegan and totally cool.

Creamy Dill Dip

Ridiculously easy, this dip is creamy but creamless, thanks to cashews, and is a stealth health wonder, with beans for protein and fiber. Great as a party item or for solo snacking. Serve with steamed or raw vegetables or on chewy artisanal rye bread.

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours or up to overnight

2 cups cooked white beans (such as navy beans or cannellini) — or 1 15-ounce can

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

½ teaspoon sherry vinegar

sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Drain and rinse cashews. Process in a food processor for several minutes, or until the nuts become a soft white paste.

Add garlic and cooked beans and processor another minute or two, until mixture is creamy and light.

Add chopped dill, the sherry vinegar and season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Spoon into a bowl and serve.

Makes approximately 2-1/2 cups of dip, serving 6 to 8.

*Courtesy of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who in 1842 said, “Keep cool; it will all be one a hundred years hence.”


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