Greek food is my absolute favorite, even before visiting Greece, I was always on the lookout for a good Greek restaurant or recipe. After visiting Greek Express last week I was motivated to cook more Greek food. I found a recipe for falafel, a Egyptian dish that resembles many Greek dishes. I’ve never really ventured towards falafel but thought it would be worth a try. I pulled out my recipe for tzatziki that was in an old Gourmet magazine, then some lima beans on the side and I had a delicious Mediterranean meal! All I need is some Ouzo.
adapted from Gourmet magazine
1/2 seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped), peeled, seeded, and chopped (1 cup)
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 T olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black or white pepper
Chop cucumber and drain for 15 min. While cucumber is draining mince garlic then mix in yogurt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add more garlic if you like it with more of a kick. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Use white pepper if you prefer to not have the black flakes in your sauce). Squeeze out remaining juice from cucumber then add cucumber to mixture. Use as a sauce for Gyros, Falafel, Pita Chips, or Kebabs.
adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen
1 can chickpeas OR pinto beans (I tried the pinto bean version)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 T chopped fresh parsley
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. baking powder
4-5 T whole wheat flour (or more, if the balls don’t stick together well enough)
Olive oil, for spraying baking sheet
Drain chickpeas/pinto beans. Place chickpeas/pinto beans, onion, parsley, cilantro, salt, garlic, and cumin into bowl of a food processor with the steel blade attached. Pulse until mixture is well-chopped and combined, but not pureed together. Sprinkle over baking powder and flour and pulse a few more times to combine. Test one ball to see if mixture holds together, and if not add more flour until it does. (I had to add a bit more.) If you’re not cooking immediately chill the mixture several hours or overnight.
When ready to bake Falafel, preheat oven to 400F. Spread 1/2 T olive oil onto baking sheet to get the outside of the Falafel extra crisp.
Shape the mixture into 6 balls, pressing each one flat with your hands and forming into a patty not quite 1/2 inch thick. (Even if the mixture doesn’t hold together that well it will form as it bakes). Put patties on pan and bake until lightly browned and cooked through. Bake for about 22 minutes turning after 13 minutes. Serve on pita bread with tzatziki sauce.