Margaret Button | Kitchen Comfort: Recipe fit for all those tomatoes

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In a recent column about my staycation in July, during which I primarily floated in the pool and read, and thought about times and people gone by, I mentioned a dessert my now-late friend, Silvia Durant, used to make all the time — lemon lush — and gave the recipe, fully intending to make it for myself later that week, which I didn't.

The Sunday after the column appeared, my doorbell rang shortly after I had arrived home from a shift at the supermarket. A neighbor and fellow former Drury High School football mom, Connie Tatro, was standing on my stoop, holding a plastic container of ... you guessed it, lemon lush. I've been negligent in telling her what a surprise it was and how good it was — and also negligent in returning her container! I savored the lemon lush for several days, each bite reminding me of Silvia and her husband, Russ, who passed away a few years after Silvia, and all the good times we had. And now when I make it, I'll also think of Connie, how she understood what I had written and felt, and how much her gesture touched me.

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The recent hot spells have made my eating habits even worse than usual. A typical it's-too-darn-hot-to-cook supper for me is a bowl of cereal or a sub picked up on the way home from The Eagle. I'll even admit to a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream being the main course one night. With a plethora of tomatoes coming from the garden on a daily basis — both cherry and regular — I've been eating BLTs, Caprese salad and simply tomatoes sprinkled with a little salt.

I found this recipe for tomato basil hummus stuck in a book I read last summer and it seemed ideal for that night's supper. I had everything on hand except pita bread or pita bread chips, which involved a quick run to the store. As a nod to a Caprese salad, I grated some mozzarella cheese and sprinkled it on top of the drizzle of olive oil. It was so good, and there was plenty for the next night!

FRESH TOMATO BASIL HUMMUS

Makes 2 cups

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups chickpeas, soaked and cooked or rinsed and drained from a can

1 garlic clove

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1/3 cup tahini

10 to 12 fresh basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 to 12 cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil, optional

Fresh cracked pepper, optional

DIRECTIONS:

Place chickpeas, garlic, tahini, basil, salt and tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until smooth. If it is too thick, add water 1/2 tablespoon at a time. If too runny, add more chickpeas or tahini.

Transfer tomato hummus to a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and add fresh cracked pepper, if desired.

Serve hummus with crackers, pita bread or veggies. Store tomato hummus in refrigerator for up to four days, covered.


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