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.


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!


Makes 2 cups

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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

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1 tablespoon olive oil, optional

Fresh cracked pepper, optional


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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