It’s Girl Dinner Summer, and we’re here for it. Who doesn’t love a meal at home that’s simple, delicious, easy and doesn’t require turning on an oven? But Girl Dinner does require that you have food in your fridge. So, we’ve rounded up the top 10 essential refrigerator ingredients to keep on hand to ensure that you can make the best-ever Girl Dinner on the fly, including jarred tomatoes, tahini and olives.
the girl dinner is everything this summer
By now, we know you’ve heard of “girl dinner.” It’s the lazy, cold, straight-from-the-fridge meal for the days where we’re too hot to turn on the oven and too tired to put any effort into food prep. It’s a homemade smorgasbord; a colorful plate that’s filled with anything and everything you happen to have on hand. And despite the name, it’s not just for girls. No, girl dinner is for anyone who’s bent double by the weight of this endless summer heat – anyone who needs a nutritious, delicious dinner that can be ready in less than sixty seconds.
And we have some good news: if you play your cards right – if you fill your fridge with the proper essentials – then it might be the best meal you eat all week.
Here are the ten ingredients for the best-ever girl dinner. Order them now, and you’ll have a five-star meal on hand, anytime you need it.
top 10 essential ingredients for an easy, effortless girl dinner
1. Tomatoes in Saltwater
We’re pretty sure you could build a girl dinner using exclusively the items found in Big Night’s pantry. What’s Big Night? Only our favorite store in all of New York! With locations in both Brooklyn and Manhattan, Big Night is the place to go for bright, beautiful dinner party essentials – and it turns out that making a plate of girl dinner is a little like hosting a dinner party for one. Who would have thought?
We love everything they sell, but we’re here today to tell you about this magical jar of tomatoes in saltwater, courtesy of Cassa Marazzo. These cherry tomatoes are bittersweet and full of flavor, and they’re the perfect food to have on your top shelf. Pick up several jars of these tomatoes for your next Girl Dinner, and comb the rest of Big Night’s virtual shelves while you’re at it.
BUY NOW – $20.00.
2. Za’atar Tahini
Cold veggies are a major component of girl dinner. Baby carrots, cut celery, slices of cucumber – they may sound like the lazy version of a salad, but when you pair them with a pool of za’atar tahini from Seed and Mill, they really start to shine. Keep a jar of this rockstar tahini on hand, and your girl dinner will always have pizzazz.
BUY NOW – $14.00.
3. Black Olives Tanche
Olives might be the underdog of girl dinner. They may not be for everyone, but those who love them know just how much they can add to any culinary experience. And these are the best of best, the so-called “jewels of Nyons”; immaculate French olives that are harvest between December and January. If you’re an olive person (and you should be), these are sure to please your palate.
BUY NOW – $18.00.
4. Pinhais Canned Sardines
Much like girl dinner, tinned fish is having a moment. And the two seem like a match made in heaven. Since tinned fish is so popular, we’re going to recommend two different options, and the first is these canned sardines from Pinhais. These are Portuguese sardines, preserved in the very best ingredients – and of course, they can be eaten right out of the can. The perfect companion to the other parts of your girl dinner plate.
BUY NOW – $29.00.
5. Classic Smoky Trio
When it comes to tinned fish, Fishwife might be the belle of the ball – and we think you ought to give her stuff a try. We are big fans of their classic smoky trio, which lets you sample the smoked rainbow trout, the smoked Atlantic salmon, and the smoked Albacore tuna. It’s the perfect marriage between tinned fish and smoked fish, and each serving will pack your plate with flavor. Girl dinner has never tasted so good!
BUY NOW – $33.00.
6. European Sampler
When it comes to charcuterie, Oregon’s Olympia Provisions is always our go-to destination. They have everything you could ever want in the way of cured meats. When you buy their European sampler, you’re getting a box of first-rate salamis from Italy, Spain, France, and Greece. This may be the kind of thing you’d usually get as a gift, but this time you should get it for yourself.
BUY NOW – $67.00.
7. Classic Pickles
Girl dinner has got to include some pickles. And there are no pickles we love more than the ones from The Pickle Guys, New York’s very own purveyor of artisan pickles. As they like to say, they are the Pickle Guys – we don’t know better. Even if you’re not in the city, Goldbelly allows you to fill your plate with a range of their finest offerings: sours, hot sours, horseradish pickles, and more. Stock your fridge with the city’s best pickles, and you’ll be ready for girl dinner any day of the week.
BUY NOW – $84.95.
8. Flavors of America Nut Sampler
Nuts are a great source of protein, and an even greater source of flavor. And would you believe they sell them at one of our favorite online stores? Uncommon Goods, home to delightful novelties and novel delights, offers a four-pack of flavored nuts that we know you’ll want to try. Seasoned with barbecue sauces from Kansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Texas, these peanuts and almonds are sweet, spicy, and everything in between. Order them for your next road trip, then save some in the pantry for girl dinner.
BUY NOW – $38.00.
9. Legendary Hummus Sampler
When it comes to girl dinner, hummus seems like a no-brainer. And even more so when it’s coming from Sahadi’s, whose hummus is legendary. The Brooklyn spot is a true icon, and Goldbelly allows you to order pints of both their classic and spicy hummus, straight to your door. Enjoy with sliced veggies, with a fistful of pita chips, or with a spoon – there’s no wrong way.
BUY NOW – $69.95.
10. Murray’s Cave Aged Gruyère
When it comes to girl dinner, anything from the wondrous world of Murray’s Cheese would make a welcome addition. But we are here to make a plea for the aged gruyere: firm, strong, and full of flavor, this cheese is a crowd-pleaser with notes of brown butter and hazelnut. It goes well with crackers, as well as fruits, nuts, and other spreads, meaning we know it’ll pair well with the rest of your plate.
BUY NOW – $13.50.
essential ingredients for an easy and luxurious girl dinner
That’s our edit of the top essential refrigerator (and other) ingredients to keep on hand to make your next Girl Dinner easy and luxurious, including tomatoes, tahini and olives. Bon Appetit!