I love the savory flavor combination in this panini: white kidney beans, smashed to a spreadable consistency, layered with bacon and fresh cucumber, red onion and avocado — it will tantalize your taste buds with each delicious bite.
Yield: Serves 2
1 can (14 to 19 oz/398 to 540 ml) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp (25 ml) olive oil, divided
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Pinch garlic powder
2 ciabatta rolls, split
6 thin slices cucumber
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp
4 thin slices red onion
1 avocado, thinly sliced
Preheat panini grill to high.
1. In a bowl, combine beans, 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the bean mixture. Set aside.
2. Place rolls, cut side down, on a work surface and brush crusts with the remaining oil. Turn rolls over and spread bean mixture over bottom halves. Evenly layer with cucumber, bacon, onion and avocado. Cover with top halves and press gently to pack.
3. Place sandwiches in grill, close the top plate and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
For a meatier panini, add sliced or shaved turkey or chicken.
I love the simple white bean, but any type of bean will certainly work. For a different flair, use black beans spiked with a bit of chili powder and cumin.
If you happen to have leftover smashed beans, spread them atop grilled bread slices and sprinkle with diced bacon and chopped onion for perfect bruschetta. Serve with a crisp wine as an easy hors d’oeuvre.