Falafel Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

falafel_salad_garlic_dressingMakes 4 Servings
Hands-On Time: 40 Minutes
Total Preparation Time: 50 Minutes

1 c cherry tomatoes
3 pickled cherry peppers
1/2 seedless(English) cucumber
1 small head iceberg lettuce
1 small onion
5 T extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3/4 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground coriander
1/4 t cayenne pepper
One 15 1/2 oz can chickpeas
1 large egg
2 T well-stirred tahini
1/2 t kosher salt
1 recipe Creamy Garlic Dressing Two Ways
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1. Place the tomatoes in a food processor fitted with chopping blade; pulse until medium chopped (about 3/4 cup); transfer them to a bowl. Remove the stems and seeds from the cherry peppers and chop them in the food processor (about 1/3 cup); add them to the bowl.

2. Remove the chopping blade and place the slicing disc on the food processor. Split the cucumber in half lengthwise and slice in the processor (about 2 cups); transfer the slices to the bowl. Discard the outer leaves of the lettuce and medium chop by hand or cut it into wedges and use the food processor with the slicing disc (about 6 cups). Add the lettuce to the bowl. Wipe out the food processor, fit the processor with the chopping blade, and set aside.

3. Chop the onion (about 1/2 cup). Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until it has softened. Press the garlic (about 2 teaspoons) into the pan and add the cumin, coriander, and cayenne; cook for 1 minute and then transfer to a medium bowl.

4. Rinse and drain the chickpeas (about 1 1/3 cups). Pulse them in the food processor just until they are coarsely chopped; remove 1/2 chopped chickpeas and add it to the onion mixture. Add the egg, tahini, and salt to the chickpeas remaining in the processor and process them until they are very finely ground; stir them into the onion mixture. Cover the mixture and chill it for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the Creamy Garlic Dressing.

5. Shape the chilled chickpea mixture into 12 patties (the mixture will be loose). Spread out the panko on a pie plate lined with wax paper or parchment and dip the patties into it to coat on all sides, lifting the wax paper on both sides to move them around; shake off any excess.

6. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the falafel patties and cook until crisp and golden on one side, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and turn the patties; cook for 3 minutes, or until crisp and golden.

7. To serve, toss the chopped vegetables with 1/2 cup of the dressing and divide the mixture among 4 large salad bowls. Top each salad with 3 falafel patties and some of the remaining dressing.

Creamy Garlic Dressing Two Ways: Rich and Slim
Makes about 2/3 cup

2 T sherry vinegar
2t Dijon mustard
1/4 t kosher salt
1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove
1/4 c heavy cream or plain low-fat or full-fat yogurt Greek-style
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until the salt has dissolved. Press the garlic (about 1 teaspoon) into the mixture. Gradually whisk in the cream and then the olive oil. Store in the refrigerator for a day or two.

Cook’s Notes
An ice cream scoop, and they come in many sizes, does double duty as a tool for measuring dry ingredients. You can use it to drop cookie dough on a sheet pan or to form meatballs or to scoop up and shape falafel mix as I have done in this episode.

Cherry peppers are small round fleshy pods that measure about 1 3/4 inches in diameter and resemble a very large cherry. They are mildly hot with traces of sweetness and are heavily seeded. Cherry peppers are considered an extremely good processing, pickling, and home garden pepper. Pickled peppers are fat-free flavor enhancers as well as a good source of Vitamins A and C. You can find them in many supermarkets in the pickle section. You can use pepperoncini (the pickled Tuscan peppers found in Greek salads) or even plain old chopped up pickles if you can’t find cherry peppers.

Panko is the Japanese version of breadcrumbs; the pieces are large and flaky in texture (rather than fine and granular like regular bread crumbs) and are made from a high-sugar yeast bread that is baked in such a way that it has little or no crust. It is available in Asian markets and now frequently in the international section of supermarkets. Choose panko bread crumbs when you want a thicker, crisper, less dense crust. But, they are not for every recipe. In a dry recipe the crisp, shard-like consistency can be unpleasant. They are best in recipes with enough moisture to soften the edges. One caveat, if they have been sitting in your cupboard for a while, take a tase. They go stale pretty quickly.

Pie plates are perfect for breading because they are shallow and give you a wide work surface. Line them with parchment to make it easier to bread the item and not yourself (by lifting up the sides of the parchment to make the item roll around and get well coated by the flour or crumbs).


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One Response to Falafel Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

  1. Dianne A. Pickett says:

    Thankyou. Love your simple and easy, fresh recipes.

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