Tag Archives: yogurt dressing

Warm Chickpea Salad with Yogurt Dressing (Deconstructed Falafel)

2 Apr

Do you ever have an irresistible craving for a dish you just don’t have the time or energy to make?  It’s a problem I have quite frequently.  Yesterday, after a long week of studying, I was craving some falafel.  However, I didn’t feel like mucking up the food processor and frying falafel.  I decided to simplify the process by caramelizing some onions and garlic combining them with chickpeas, spinach, and cilantro and tossing it with a lemon and yogurt dressing and some toasted pita.  I topped the whole thing with a runny fried egg to mimic the binder used in traditional falafel.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I figured it’s pretty hard to make chickpeas taste bad.

And, let me just tell you – wow!  This simple dish had all of the flavors of a traditional falafel sandwich with less of the work.  It was amazing how something that looked so different than a falafel sandwich could taste so much like one.  I think the caramelization of the onions is what really knocked this dish out of the park – it added the depth of flavor that you would normally get from frying the falafel as well as a hint of sweetness that made the other flavors shine.  This is going to be my go-to dish, especially since we almost always have the required ingredients hanging out around our place.

Warm Chickpea Salad with Yogurt Dressing (Deconstructed Falafel)

Warm Chickpea Salad:

2 tbs. olive oil, divided

1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. sumac

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

1 small pita, toasted

1 egg

In a 10″ cast iron skillet, heat 1 tbs. olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook over low heat until onions are caramelized, roughly 30 minutes.  Add chickpeas and toss to combine with onions.  Season with cumin, coriander, sumac, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Add chopped spinach and cilantro and toss to combine.  Tear up pita into small pieces and add to chickpea mixture.  Cook, 3-5 minutes, until heated through.

Meanwhile, heat remaining tbs. of olive oil in a small non-stick sauté pan.  Fry an egg until over easy or desired consistency.

Serve warm chickpea salad topped with egg and yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce:

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 lemon, juiced

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Gently whisk together ingredients.  Serve over warm chickpea salad.

Falafal and Fattoush Sandwich with Yogurt Dressing

18 Oct

This dish was a combined effort for Zak and I.  He made the fattoush salad, I made the falafel and the yogurt dressing and assembled the sandwiches.  This meal was fresh and delicious and makes for great leftovers.  Each component of this mouthwatering, refreshing sandwich would be  fantastic on it’s own.  If you are looking for a healthy crowd pleaser, this recipe is the way to go.

Falafel and Fattoush Sandwich with Yogurt Dressing

Serves 4

Fattoush Salad:

Salad:

Adapted from foodnetwork.com

2 hearts of romaine lettuce, shredded

1 large cucumber, cut into a small dice

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped

1 small green pepper, diced

1 small red pepper, diced

1/2 medium red onion, diced

1/2 cup black olives, chopped

Toss all ingredients well to combine.

Dressing:

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs. white wine vinegar

1 tsp. tahini paste

4 cloves of garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together and add to salad.  Note that this recipe produces a lot of fattoush, so plan for leftovers.

Falafel:

Adapted from realsimple.com

2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained, reserving liquid, and rinsed well

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 garlic cloves, finely minced

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, divided

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup canola oil

In a food processor, combine chickpeas and lemon juice.  While slowly adding roughly 1/4 cup of reserved chickpea liquid, process the chickpea mixture until smooth.  It may be necessary to scrape down the sides of your food processor a few times or add additional reserved liquid or water to achieve a nearly smooth texture.  The final result should not be watery.  It should be firm to the touch and easy to roll into ball form.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Add red onion, red pepper flakes, garlic, parsley, 1/2 cup bread crumbs and kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Mix well.  Roll into 12 or so balls and then flatten to form patties.

Place remaining 1 cup of bread crumbs on a large dish.  In another large bowl, add beaten eggs.  Coat each patty in egg and then bread crumbs.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add patties, working in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown on each side (roughly 3-4 minutes per side).  Add more canola oil as necessary.  Drain on paper towels.

Yogurt Dressing:

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 tsp. lemon zest

1 tsp. ground cumin

Whisk ingredients together.

Sandwich:

8 mini-pocket pitas

Cut mini-pocket pitas in half.  Place about a tablespoon of yogurt dressing in each pita pocket half and use a butter knife to spread evenly on both halves of pita pocket.  Add a heaping tablespoon of fattoush salad.  Cut one falafel patty in half and add 1 or 2 patty halves to each pita pocket.

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