Lemon Basil Hummus

Basil is best in summer. Its sweet and peppery flavor is exceptional when featured in pesto, salads, and pasta dishes. One summer, I added basil to my homemade hummus on a whim, and now this recipe is a staple for summer snacking. 

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  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 cup of packed basil leaves, with stems removed
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced (optional)
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, drained, with liquid reserved
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. Using a microplane or fine grater, zest the lemon. Cut in half and squeeze out the juice. Strain the juice to remove any pulp and seeds. 
  2. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, basil, garlic, chickpeas, salt, smoked paprika, and tahini into a high powered blender or food processor. Secure lid and blend while slowly pouring in the olive oil. Blend until desired consistency is reached. If the mixture seems too dry or thick for your taste, add a small amount of reserved chickpea liquid and continue blending.
  3. Scoop mixture into small serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkled smoked paprika, or additional basil sprigs.

Makes about 2 cups of hummus.

Shaved Watermelon Radish Salad

The heat of July is a double-edged sword. Although we sweat and burn in the muggy and hot weather, the crops of summer flourish! An abundance of summer squash, corn, and fresh fruit emerges from our land. On the days that I don't feel like cooking and need some colorful freshness on my plate, I love to make salad with items from the summer harvest. This recipe is raw, vegan, and packed with flavor. The sweetness of the corn and the watermelon balance with zesty lime and spicy radish. 

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  • 1 small watermelon (or three cups worth from a larger melon)
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1 large watermelon radish
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2 small yellow summer squash  
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Radish microgreens for garnish (optional)
  1. Cut off the ends of your watermelon, then stand on end and slice off remaining rind, leaving only the pink flesh of the fruit. Slice thinly and set aside.
  2. Cut off the end of the watermelon radish. Using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, shave the rest of the radish into thin slices. Combine with lime juice in medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Remove the husks from the corn and cut off the kernels from the cobs. 
  4. Peel the cucumber partially, removing about half of the skin. Use the peeler to shave long, thin slices of cucumber and summer squash. 
  5. Assemble your salad! Start by arranging watermelon slices on a plate. Scatter small handfuls of corn and watermelon radish. Place pieces of summer squash and cucumber on top. Drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt. Add additional layers if desired. Garnish with microgreens.

Yields about 4-6 plates, depending on your portioning.