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Spice up holiday appetizers with fresh hummus

Recipe: Lime, cilantro and chilis flavor this easy dip

Serve this hummus among Thanksgiving appetizers or at any holiday party.

Serve this hummus among Thanksgiving appetizers or at any holiday party. Kathy Morrison

Lime is not thought of as a Thanksgiving flavor. Yet my little lime tree is loaded with fruit this year, and it all seems to be ripening at once. 

I wanted a savory recipe using limes, and lucked into a cache of hummus recipes that I adapted for my limes and my family's fairly high tolerance of spiciness.

The recipe is easy, vegan, can be done ahead of time, and as an appetizer won't spoil anyone's hunger for sage or cinnamon or cranberries. It also won't supplant a family favorite while the cook tries something new.

Serve it with crackers or raw vegetables, and dig in while the rest of the meal is still cooking.

Lime-chili hummus with cilantro

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

One 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons Chinese-style chili paste (or less, to taste)

1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Zest of 1 lime

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more as needed

Hummus ingredients
The hummus ingredients go together quickly.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Place the drained chickpeas, garlic and olive oil in a food processor or blender. Whir until the chickpeas are broken up and starting to become paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend to desired texture.

Taste the hummus and adjust the seasonings. Add a bit more lime juice if the texture is too thick.

Serve immediately with crackers or raw vegetables, or cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. Again,  add a touch of lime juice if it has thickened up too much.

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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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