Tuesday, March 31, 2009
These are an acquired taste for some, but Jack loved Falafel from the first time he tasted while we were living in Connecticut. I later found a recipe for it in one of my Cooking Light magazines and thought I would surprise Jack and make it. It was a hit and I have been making it for over two years. I wouldn't call it a staple, but we certainly enjoy it when we have it. I marvel that all my boys gobble it down, and ask for more. We have served this to friends that were interested in trying something completely new. It is a fun vegetarian dish that is packed with protein.
"The patties will seem small when you're forming them, but they fit perfectly in the pita halves. To prevent the falafel mixture fom sticking to your hands, dip them in water before forming the patties. Look for tahini near the peanut butter and other nut butters. (We have also used sour cream with a drop of sesame oil and lemon juice in it when we can't get the tahini sauce.)
4 servings (serving size: 2 stuffed pita halves)
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large egg
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)
1 garlic clove, minced
4 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, cut in half
8 curly leaf lettuce leaves
16 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
To prepare falafel, place first 8 ingredients in a food processor; process mixture until smooth. Divide mixture into 16 equal portions, and shape each portion into a 1/4-inch-thick patty. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until patties are browned.
To prepare sauce, combine yogurt, lemon juice, tahini, and 1 garlic clove, stirring mixture with a whisk. Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini sauce into each pita half. Fill each pita half with 1 lettuce leaf, 2 tomato slices, and 2 patties."
Ann Taylor Pittman, Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2003