Vegetables, herbs fit late-summer tastes to a ‘tea’


As summer comes to an end, we enjoy the last of its bounty. Tomatoes seem to hang on for well into September, so if you’re growing some, try using them in an Indian-inspired Tomato Chutney. I love quick-pickled cucumbers, and Ginger Cucumbers have an Asian twist. Transform herbs into a tasty Basil and Rosemary Hummus or refreshing Mint Iced Tea. Make the most of late summer produce.

Indian-inspired Tomato Chutney

Indian-inspired Tomato Chutney

Makes 6 or more servings.

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups red onion, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
3 cups tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

In a pot over medium heat, add canola oil; when it’s hot, add onion. Cook 3 minutes. Add curry powder, cloves, cinnamon, smoked paprika and ginger. Cook 3 minutes. Add salt, garlic, tomatoes, sugar and apple cider vinegar; stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

This sweet chutney is delicious on cheese, over grilled chicken or served with tortilla chips like salsa.

Ginger Cucumbers

Ginger Cucumbers

Makes 2-3 servings.

1 large cucumber, thinly sliced
1/3 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place cucumber and onion in a large Mason jar or bowl.
In a pot, add ginger, sugar, rice wine vinegar, water and salt. Heat only until sugar dissolves; remove and pour mixture over cucumbers. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Close jar lid or cover bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Basil and Rosemary Hummus

Basil and Rosemary Hummus

Makes 4-6 servings.

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained with liquid reserved
1 tablespoon reserved chickpea liquid
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle as garnish
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 cup tahini
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
10 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
4 tablespoons hot water

Pita chips for serving 

Place all ingredients (except pita chips) in food processor. Pulse until it reaches desired consistency. (If it’s too thick, add more hot water, one tablespoon at a time.) Refrigerate until time to serve. 

Before serving, drizzle with a little olive oil, add a dash of salt, and garnish with basil. 
Serve with pita chips. 

This hummus is even better on the second day. 

If you don’t have fresh rosemary, no need to buy it for this small amount. Use 1/4 teaspoon dried, or substitute chives. Or skip it, and toss in a few extra basil leaves. Basil is the dominant flavor.

Mint Iced Tea

Mint Iced Tea

Makes 4 servings. 

5 1/2cups water
6 black tea bags
9 fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup sugar

Bring water to a boil, and add tea, mint leaves and sugar. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, and allow tea and mint to steep for 30 minutes. Remove tea bags and mint leaves, and let cool. Serve over ice.