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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Falafel Sandwich with Tomato-Cucumber Salad

Falafel Sandwich with Tomato-Cucumber Salad

Falafel are usually deep-fried, but pan-searing these chickpea fritters is healthier (and not as messy). Serve them in pita bread, topped with thick yogurt or tahini sauce, if you like.Serves four.

1- 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
7 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup plain fine dry breadcrumbs; more as needed
1&1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 medium pickling cucumber or 1/3 English cucumber, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
4 pitas, warmed

Heat the oven to 425°F.

In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas, 2 Tbs. of the oil, the cumin, coriander, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper into a chunky paste.

Add the onion and breadcrumbs and pulse until the mixture tightens up.

You should be able to easily form it into a patty—add more breadcrumbs as needed.

Gently form the chickpea mixture into twelve 1/2-inch-thick patties.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot.

Add 6 of the patties and cook until nicely browned, about 2 minutes.

Flip and cook the other sides until browned, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Transfer the patties to a baking sheet.

Repeat with 2 Tbs. more oil and the remaining six patties.

Bake the patties until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes and cucumber with the lemon juice, the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and salt to taste.

Split the pitas and stuff them with the falafel and tomato-cucumber salad.

Serving Suggestions

Savor this sandwich with a side of Grilled Eggplant with Feta and Herbs. 

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