Monday, March 22, 2010

Falafel Sandwiches

As a chick pea lover, I am constantly finding ways to incorporate them into my diet.  I eat a lot of hummus and often add them into salads, pasta, veggie burgers and veggie chili.  I also love falafel and have recently started to make my own.  Falafel is usually formed into a ball shape and deep fried.  Because I am not very good at deep frying, I shape mine into patties and pan fry (similar to how I would make crab cakes).  This results in a healthier, albeit less crunchy falafel.  With the right sauce and toppings, it still tastes pretty darn good. 

Falafel Sandwiches
adapted from Ellie Krieger's Baked Falafel
Falafel Patties:
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup minced onion
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup parsley leaves
1 tablespoons olive oil
bread crumbs, as needed
Combine all ingredients except bread crumbs in a food processor until it forms a course meal.  Transfer mixture to bowl and add bread crumbs as needed (mixture should not be too wet).  Form into patties (size of a small crab cake) and put aside.  
Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in large pan over med-high heat.  When pan is hot, add falafel patties to pan.  Pan fry for about 5 minutes on each side, making sure they don't burn and there is enough oil in pan (the patties will absorb some oil). 

Spicy Tahini Sauce:
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2-3 tablespoons Sriracha sauce (depending on how spicy you like)
3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
water, if needed to thin out
Combine all ingredients until mixture is smooth and well incorporated.  For best results, make a day in advance.

Chop up some romaine lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber.  Toss and dress with a lemon vinaigrette (I use Newman's Own Lite Italian con Limone).
To assemble the sandwiches:
Lay out a piece of flatbread.  Liberally spread sauce in middle of bread.  Top one side of bread with patties (so that bread can be folded).  Top that with the salad.  Fold flatbread in half and devour.  Dip into more sauce if necessary!

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