The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Grilled Zucchini and Ham Pita Panini with Basil Hummus

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Level: Easy

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Description

A crispy pita crust, smoky ham and grilled zucchini with a basil hummus spread . . . perfect for those sultry, anti-oven days!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE PANINI:
  • 1 whole Small Zucchini, Sliced Diagonally Into 1/4-inch Pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil For Brushing
  • 2 whole Pitas (pocket Bread), Sliced In Half To Make Four Pockets
  • ½ cups Basil Hummus (recipe Below)
  • 4 slices Thinly Sliced Deli Ham
  • 1 whole Small Tomato, Sliced Into 1/4-inch Rounds
  • 8 whole Large Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 2 slices Provolone Cheese, Halved
  • _____
  • FOR THE HUMMUS:
  • 2 cans (15 Oz. Size) Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) Drained And Rinsed Well
  • 2 Tablespoons Tahini (ground Sesame Paste)
  • 2 whole Cloves Garlic, Peeled And Roughly Chopped
  • ¼ cups Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice (about One Lemon)
  • 1 cup Loosely Packed Fresh Basil Leaves (about 1/2 Bunch)
  • 1 pinch Salt And Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1 dash Ground Cayenne Pepper (optional, To Taste)
  • ⅓ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preparation

Heat BBQ grill or stove-top grill pan to medium-high heat. Toss zucchini slices in a bowl with a glug of oil. Place slices on pre-heated grill and cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping once, until nice grill marks have formed on both sides and zucchini is tender. Remove and set aside.

Coat a medium skillet with butter or nonstick spray and place over medium heat.

To assemble pitas, spread a couple spoonfuls of hummus inside each pita half and fill with one slice of ham, a few pieces of grilled zucchini, a slice of tomato, a few basil leaves, and a slice of cheese. Place pita half in the preheated skillet, then cook in a panini press.

If you don’t have a panini press (like me), place your panini in a skillet and place another heavy, cast-iron skillet on top of the pita. Cook for 3-5 minutes or so, flip pita over, and place the heavy skillet on top again and cook for another 3-5 minutes until everything is heated through and outsides of the pita are golden brown and crisp. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, simply use a small skillet and put a couple of cans of beans (or whatever else you have on hand) on top of the panini to weigh it down.

Serve with Basil Hummus and sliced carrots, cucumbers, or other crudites.

Makes 4 pita halves.

Basil Hummus:

Combine chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, basil, salt, cayenne and about 1/4 cup water in the bowl of a food processor. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil. Process until smooth, adding more oil if necessary. Check seasoning and add more salt if necessary.

The hummus will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for two weeks.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups (seriously an estimate out of my head . . . my food processor only holds 3 cups and it almost fills it).

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