One of the best things about visiting my family is trying new recipes and eating together. My mom’s kitchen will always be one of my favorite spots on earth — it’s full of fresh produce (three cheers for Costco memberships!), hungry people, and best of all – my mom! The two of us love experimenting together in the kitchen and I have 3 brothers who will eat just about anything. It’s the ideal situation. Plus, the dog likes sitting below my feet while I am cooking making sure to catch any scraps that I would otherwise have to sweep up when I am finished. I spent all of last week hanging with my family and I have quite a few successful dishes to share.
Falafel. Whenever I hear the word ‘falafel,’ I think of this song that my brothers and I would sing as kids. We had a fancy Fisher Price plastic record player with an assortment of shall-i-say-amazing kids records. There was one in particular that featured a song from “Jack and the Giant Bean Stalk,” and it was the best. There was a little sliding button on the front of the record player that allowed you to slow down or speed up the song, and frankly nothing is more hilarious to a bunch of little kids then when a singer suddenly has a low monotone voice or a squeaky mouse voice. When kids love something, they repeat it. And repeat it, we did. ‘Feee-fiiii-foooo-fummmm…. feee-fiiii-fooooo-fuuuumm’ could be heard echoing through the walls of our house for hours at a time. My poor, poor parents must’ve really disliked that song and/or were somehow involved when the record player finally broke.
Feee-fiii-foooo-fuuuummmm = Falafel in my head… or something like that. I hope this is making sense to at least one reader out there. Otherwise, I’m just going to sound like a weird, rambling, giant-bean-stalk loving individual.
This recipe was really tasty. We ate it up so fast I hardly got a good picture. We really enjoyed the lemon-tahini sauce, but all agreed that a yogurt-cucumber-tatziki sauce may be even better. We topped our falafel pita sandwiches with lemony sauce, crunchy cucumbers, lettuce, and the smallest baby tomatoes fresh from my mom’s garden. I can’t wait to make this recipe again and again and again and again.
2 (15oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3T parsley, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1tsp chili powder
pinch of black pepper
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
pita bread (whole wheat or plain)
Lemon Tahini Sauce
4T tahini paste
3-4T fresh squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spritz with no-stick spray.
In a food processor, combine chickpeas, flour, parsley, cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Pulse until blended.
Form into small patties using about 2T of mixture at a times (patties should be about 1″ wide and 1″ thick).
Place onto prepped baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.
While patties are cooking, stir together tahini and lemon juice. Taste and add salt if needed.
To assemble: place a few of the chickpea falafel into a pita with toppings of choice and a drizzle of the tahini dressing.