So, it turns out when you are a Sabra tastemaker they send you what could only be described as a butt load of hummus. Betsy and I have hummus coming out of our ears. I find myself looking at everything I cook and asking, “Hey… could I squeeze some hummus in there?” The answer is frequently yes which speaks to the versatility of hummus.
I made this sandwich almost on a whim. I had some leftover ground beef, an onion, some cheese, and some leftover bread and so this became lunch. I made one but I wrote the recipe for if you were feeding a crowd and needed four sandwiches. It’s easy to divide or multiple depending on how many sandwiches you need.
The crazy thing is that the warm hummus almost becomes some sort of weird mayo/mustard hybrid. It’s a perfect condiment for a hot sandwich.
1) Add butter to a medium pan over medium heat along with sliced white onions. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and let the onions cook, stirring occasionally, until they are cooked down and a light brown color, about 15 minutes. You can work on the other parts of the sandwiches while you cook these down.
2) Divide the ground beef into four even-sized patties that are roughly the shape of your bread slices. It's okay if they are on the thin side. Season each patty with salt and pepper.
3) In a large skillet or on a griddle over medium-high heat, add the patties and cook until they are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.
4) Remove the patties from the heat and add a drizzle of oil to the pan or griddle. Place the bread slices down on on the pan and spread a liberal amount of hummus on each piece. Turn heat down to medium so the bread doesn't burn.
5) Top the hummus with a patty per piece of bread. Divide the onions between the patties and top each with a slice of cheese.
6) Top each sandwich with the other piece of bread. I like to drizzle a little extra oil over the top of the sandwiches.
7) Let the sandwiches cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side and then flip each sandwich. Cook on the second side for a few minutes. If the bread is burning or the cheese isn't melting, you can add a spoonful of water to the pan and cover the sandwiches with a bowl. The steam will immediately melt the cheese and make the patty melt really cheesy and delicious. You might not need to do that though.
8) Take the sandwiches off the heat when the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. Slice them in half and serve immediately!
Patty Melt Essentials
You really just need a few things to make this sandwich happen. I used about 1/4 pound of lean ground beef for one patty melt, a few slices of sturdy bread, a slice of provolone cheese (you could use any cheese) and a few spoonfuls of hummus. I used Sabra’s olive tapenade hummus but honestly I think any variety, including just plain old hummus, would be delicious.
Oh… and onions. Cooked down and slightly caramelized onions add some good depth of flavor to the sandwich.
They are easy to do but also take the longest so get them going first before you start on the sandwich. Just add some butter and sliced onions to a pan with a pinch of salt.
Cook these over medium heat until the onions soften and brown slightly. This will take around 15 minutes. Don’t rush them or they will burn instead of caramelize. They should be almost sweet at the end of it.
Making the Sandwich
To start this sandwich, you need to cook the patties. They obviously won’t cook once they are stuffed in a sandwich. I recommend shaping each patty into roughly the same shape as your bread. Then season each patty well with salt and pepper and just cook them in a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat for about four minutes per side until they are cooked through. The patties should be thinner than a hamburger.
When the patties are cooked, remove them from your pan or griddle and add another drizzle of oil if the pan is dry and add one slice of bread to the pan. Then slather that piece of bread pretty liberally with hummus. I used a few tablespoons of hummus on my bread.
Top the hummus with the cooked patty and then divide the onions between your sandwiches. Feel free to pile the onions high.
Then top the sandwiches with a slice of cheese and the top piece of bread. To encourage browning on the top of the sandwich, I recommend drizzling some olive oil on the top of each sandwich.
Let the sandwich cook for about four minutes on the first side and then give the sandwich a flip. If your bread is toasting too fast and you need to speed up the cheese melting, I recommend adding a drizzle of water to the pan and then slapping a bowl over the sandwich.
The steam will build up under the bowl and melt the cheese almost immediately.
When the bread is toasted nicely and the cheese is melted, take the sandwiches off and let them cool for a minute or two. Then slice them in half and serve them up!
Most people would not think to slap some hummus in a sandwich like this, but most people are missing out.
Trust me when I say that it’ll rock your world.