Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cooking with Cucumber

Cucumbers are abundant in the summertime, but we often have no clue what to do with them besides throw them in a salad. They actually were a common staple at our dinner table thanks to my grandparents tradition of serving them thinly sliced in apple cider vinegar. 

This week I received a large amount of cucumbers from the farm and decided to share a few fun ways to use them in appetizers. These recipes are cool and refreshing and sure to be a hit at your next summer get-together!

Cucumber Feta Hummus
Makes 2 1/2 cups 
All you need:
2 (15 oz.) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup feta, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons water
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
All you do:
1. Combine hummus ingredients in a food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 

2. Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl and garnish with feta and dill. Serve with fresh cut veggies, pita chips and/or rice crackers. 

Creamy Cucumber Avocado Soup with Garlic Herb Cheese Toasts
Serves 4
All you need:
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 large ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
Pinch sugar (or small amount of honey)
1 small multigrain baguette, sliced on a bias
1/4 cup garlic herb cheese (such as Boursin)
All you do:
1. Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400. Place bread slices on a baking sheet and smear with herb cheese. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the toasts are golden brown and crisp. 

3. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with toasts for dipping. 

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