You have leftovers in the fridge and you really don’t want to throw them away, so you frantically think of ways to use them up creatively – who hasn’t been there before? I, for one, have been there and have done that lots of times – perhaps too many times 🙂 It happened again the other day, when I had some leftover hummus I wanted to use before expiration. I have always been a fan of hummus – I like its earthly flavor and healthy protein content – and I really did not want it to go bad before I got the chance to use it. My mind went straight to the most convenient and familiar option: panini!
The hummus was the “classic” variety, which for some reason my husband did not like as much as the other varieties I’d got from the grocery store. Creamy and impeccably seasoned, to me it was a goldmine ingredient, which was just waiting for its opportunity to shine.
I thought the hummus would work great in my panino and its earthiness would add plenty of flavor and sophistication to the bread. I used provolone because it melts beautifully and we absolutely love it in this house – but you can use any other mellow cheese you have available. Same with the lettuce: I used romaine because I’d bought too much the day before to make a summer salad, but you are welcome to use any lettuce variety to suit your personal preferences. Lastly, I couldn’t resist adding bacon. Its crispiness brought in a lovely texture, and the bacon elevated the panino and added to its protein content. A wholesome panino with two protein-rich ingredients, hummus and bacon – what’s not to like?
Approx. 2 tbsp hummus
2 slices bread (I used ciabatta)
2 slices bacon
4 slices provolone
2 leaves romaine lettuce
Take the bread and spread the hummus on each slice using a knife. Cut the sliced cheese in half and put four halves on each slice of bread. Add the crispy bacon on top of the cheese, then add the lettuce on top of the bacon. Place one slice of bread and its accompanying ingredients on top of the other.
This is how the entire process looks like:
Grill the panino for about 30 seconds (you want to be fast, otherwise the lettuce will lose its crispiness as a result of the exposure to heat), or until the bread is golden-brown. Cut the panino in half and serve it with extra hummus if you want.
My husband loved the use of hummus in this panino and thought that adding it was a great idea. As for me, I really liked the overall balance of flavors: the delicate presence of the cheese was counterbalanced by the assertive meatiness of the bacon, whereas the fresh lettuce was there to lighten things up and to enchant meat-lovers and veggie-lovers equally. Above all, the hummus brought the ingredients together and provided the necessary stage for all of them to shine on. Unassuming yet earthy, wholesome and exquisitely delicious, the hummus made a difference – a difference I will return to fondly in the future.