Monday afternoon I got back from vacation with a suitcase full of dirty laundry, four camera cards full of photos, and an injured hand and rib. The short story on the injuries is that after tiptoeing around for a week on Maine’s rocky shorelines and mountainsides, terrified I’d either break an ankle or wind up swept away by the tide, I made it intact to Boston only to step out of the car and trip over a suitcase.
I’m slowly recovering from the physical injuries (I can almost hold a cup of coffee without whimpering), but I’m not sure my dignity will ever be the same. I’m just glad there aren’t photos of me sprawled on the bricks outside the hotel and that no one knows about it other than my family, the hotel doorman and manager… and all of you.
Anyway, Maine was gorgeous and Boston, though I would have been happier on Vicodin, was full of great food, historic sites, and even some accident-mandated shopping. (The suitcase I tripped over broke under the weight of–well–me and we had to by a new one. Now my debasement before you is complete. Aren’t blogs fun?!)
The problem with coming back to a place like Jackson, Mississippi, in August is that even after as few as 10 days away, you (or, rather, I) get unused to the stifling heat and humidity; you get off the plane and walk smack into a cloud of steam, heat, and mosquitoes and wonder why you (I mean I) wanted to come back. And you suddenly know why we (and I definitely mean I) have a weight problem in Mississippi: It’s too damn hot to do anything. Including cook.
Which brings me to this recipe. When I got home to my inadequately air conditioned house, I wanted cool food–food that was cool to eat as well as cool to make–and what could be cooler than cucumber? I’d been mulling over adding cucumber to hummus for a while to lighten it up; even with only a little high-fat tahini added, hummus is a pretty calorie-dense food, and I tend to eat too much of it if I’m not careful. In this super simple recipe, chopped cucumber takes the place of some of the liquid normally used to make hummus and makes the dip lighter and a little fluffier. It’s also a little thinner than most hummus, but that makes it perfect for scooping up with carrots, celery sticks, or more cucumbers.
- 1 cup diced cucumber (from about 1/2 large cucumber, peeled)
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds (ground if not using VitaMix or similar high-powered blender)
- 15 ounces cooked chickpeas (or canned, drained and rinsed)
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon sumac , optional for garnish
- Put the cucumber, water, garlic, and flax seed into a blender or food processor and blend on high speed until frothy. Add the remaining ingredients (except sumac) and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled and slightly thicker. Sprinkle with sumac and serve.
Variations: Add one or more of the following to taste:
-chipotle chile powder
-Sriracha ("rooster") sauce or other hot sauce to taste
-1 to 2 tablespoons chopped green olives
-1 tablespoon chopped green onions
-1 tablespoon chopped parsley or mint
-roasted red pepper
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Lots of Hummus on this Blog!
Check out some of my previous recipes:
- Shiny Happy (Carrot) Hummus
- Spooky Black Bean Hummus
- Green Olive Hummus
- Almost-Instant Hummus Ghanoush
- Spicy Red Pepper Hummus
- Chipotle Chickpea Dip
- Roasted Tomato Bean Dip