Falafel fanatic" describes my relationship to those Middle Eastern fried spheres made with nutty-tasting garbanzo beans.
Going through my wallet recently, I found several frequent-buyer cards from my favorite falafel stand. Marked with X's, they proved I had consumed 15 of the Middle Eastern sandwiches in less than a month!
This shocking realization sent me into the kitchen with a plan to create a baked, more healthful version that I teamed with hummus and tabbouleh as toppings.
Falafel on pita with hummus and tabbouleh
Falafel on Pita With Hummus and Tabbouleh
Preparation time: 15 minutes; cooking time: 18 minutes
Makes 4 servings
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained
3 each: green onions, cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped each: parsley, cilantro
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon each: red-pepper flakes, salt
freshly ground pepper
4 rounds pita bread
1/2 cup prepared hummus
1/4 cup prepared tabbouleh
1/4 cup shredded lettuce (optional)
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 teaspoon hot red-pepper sauce
thinly sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced cucumbers (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the beans, green onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, cumin, baking powder, red-pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste in a food processor. Pulse until mixture is just coarsely chopped and beginning to come together.
Form mixture into golf ball-sized rounds. Place on a greased baking sheet; press to slightly flatten. Bake until crispy and light gold, about 18 minutes; remove to a wire rack.
Meanwhile, heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Warm pita bread in batches, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to paper towels. Spread each round with 2 tablespoons of the hummus; top with two falafel rounds.
Top with 1 tablespoon of the tabbouleh and lettuce, if using. Top with kalamata olives, a dash of hot sauce, tomatoes and cucumbers, if using. Fold like a taco to eat.
Per serving: 382 calories; 7 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 67 grams carbohydrate; 14 grams protein; 1,333 milligrams sodium; 9 grams fiber
- Recipe and analysis from the Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper