Chickpeas are purred with lemon juice, garlic, tahini and cilantro before they are formed into patties and cooked on the griddle. A yogurt cucumber sauce contrasts the falafel to refresh the palate while feta cheese lends its signature tang. This recipe comes to us from Deborah of Vegetarian Skinny.
For the cucumber sauce:
- 6 ounces nonfat greek yogurt
- ½ small cucumber, peeled & seeded
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¾ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt, to taste
For the Falafel with Cucumber Sauce:
- 3/4 cup onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tahini butter*
- handful fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 15oz can chickpeas, drained
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- dash cayenne pepper
- dash ground black pepper
- a little olive oil, for preparing the grill
- 6 cups fresh greens, torn bite size
- 1 red onion, sliced
- ½ cucumber, sliced
- 2 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled
* Tahini Butter can be found in the ethnic food section of most grocery stores.
To make the cucumber sauce:
To strain the yogurt, tie it in a pouch made from 2 layers of cheesecloth. Hang the pouch over the sink and let the excess liquid drain out for about 2 hours, or until the yogurt has reached the consistency of sour cream. Place the drained yogurt in a small bowl and set aside.
Grate the cucumber, squeezing out the juice into another small bowl with your hands.
Pour the cucumber juice into the yogurt. Add the minced garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Stir to combine and season with salt to taste.
To complete the Falafel with Cucumber Sauce:
Place the onion, garlic, lemon juice and tahini butter in a food processor. Puree until nearly smooth.
Add the cilantro, breadcrumbs and chickpeas to the food processor. Season with the cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Pulse until the chickpeas are chunky, but not yet pureed.
Form the chickpea mixture into 6-8 falafel patties with your hands.
Prepare a skillet or griddle with olive oil. Place the skillet over medium high heat or turn the griddle on to medium high heat.
Cook the falafel patties for 6 minutes, flip and cook 6 minutes more, or until a crunchy crust forms and the patties are heated through.
Serve 1-2 falafel patties per plate over fresh greens. Top with the onion and cucumber slices. Drizzle with cucumber sauce, sprinkle with feta cheese and enjoy!