By Tommy C. Simmons, an enthusiastic cook
Photograph by Tommy C. Simmons
You either like cucumbers or you don't. My husband falls into the latter category. I learned early in our marriage to not plant cucumbers in our gardens. However, I like cucumbers and occasionally a neighbor will give me a single cucumber for my own enjoyment.
I received a gift cucumber on Monday and decided to chop it up to add to one of my favorite summer dips. I took the dip to a party and everyone, including my unsuspecting husband, praised the dip. I went home with a clean plate, which is affirmation that the dip was indeed a hit.
You can serve Hummus and Cucumber Dip with chips or fresh veggie slices. (Also, do notice how beautiful my hibiscus blossoms are this season. Lots of rain has produced lots of flowers.)
Home kitchen-tested recipe
Hummus and Cucumber Dip
Serves 8 to 10. Recipe is from Judy Jumonville, head librarian at The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, LA.
1 tbl. olive oil, plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 (16-oz.) containers ready made hummus (you can use the original flavor, but I like using the roasted pepper flavor with cucumbers)
½ cup chopped tomato
½ cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup sliced ripe olives (or Greek olives, if preferred)
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 tsp. Cavender's Greek seasoning (note, if you can find Konriko brand Greek Seasoning, use it because it contains no M.S.G.)
1 (4-oz.) pkg. tomato-basil feta cheese, crumbled (or plain if you want the mild cucumber flavor to not be overcome)
Oil a 9-inch dish with 1 teaspoon or less of olive oil. Spread the hummus evenly in the bottom of the dish.
Combine the tomato, cucumber, olives, green onions, Greek seasoning and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl. Toss mixture gently.
Sprinkle tomato/cucumber mixture over hummus; top with crumbled feta in the amount desired.
Cover and chill thoroughly. Serve with pita chips, crackers or other sturdy chips. Also yummy served as a dip for fresh veggie sticks and sliced cucumber rounds.
Testing note: If desired, don't mix the sliced olives in with the tomato, cucumber and green onions. Arrange the sliced olives in a ring around the tomato/cucumber mixture and then top with the crumbled feta.
Personal note: Tommy C. Simmons, retired food editor of The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, LA, is receiving the 2017 Grace "Mama" Marino Lifetime Culinary Achievement Award from the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society at a gala banquet in Baton Rouge on Aug. 24, 2017. The honor recognizes Tommy's leadership in establishing one of the top five newspaper food sections in the United States and Canada. Her work received dozens of national awards and helped promote the state's unique Cajun/Creole/Southern cuisine across the country. She retired from the newspaper and moved to Waleska, GA in 2011. Tommy continues to write about food, cooking and entertaining for GardenSMART's e-newsletter and the Lake Arrowhead Living Magazine published in northwest Georgia.
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By Stephanie Pratt, Instant Hedge,
Photographs courtesy of Instant Hedge
When fall hits, we often find ourselves in a frenzied state of cleaning up our gardens. However, fall is really one of the best times to plant trees and shrubs, and it's the ideal time to install a new hedge! Here are a few reasons why:
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