Chickpea Patties with Creamy Garlic Dressing

a plate of food on a table

Photo by Jessica Leibowitz

For this weeknight salad I have streamlined and speeded up the process of making falafel. I’ve renamed it  “Chickpea Patties” since it is not the same as the authentic version.  I start with canned chickpeas instead of dried chickpeas or favas.  Then I shape them into large patties instead of small balls.  Finally, I don’t deep-fry them, I sauté them.  (The panko breading provides the crispy coating you’d usually achieve by frying.) 

Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Total preparation time: 40 minutes

 1 cup cherry tomatoes
3 pickled cherry peppers
1/2 seedless (English) cucumber
1 small head Iceberg lettuce
1 small onion
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
One 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas
1 large egg
2 tablespoons well stirred tahini
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 recipe Creamy Garlic Dressing, (recipe below)
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade 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) and add them to the bowl.

Remove the chopping blade and place the slicing disk on the food processor. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and slice in 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 slice in the food processor with the slicing disk (about 6 cups). Add the lettuce to the bowl. Wipe out the food processor, fit the processor with the chopping blade, and set aside.

Chop the onion (about 1/2 cup.) Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the onion and cook 5 minutes or until it has softened. Mince the garlic (about 2 teaspoons), add to the skillet along with the cumin, coriander, and cayenne; cook for 1 minute and then transfer to a shallow bowl or pie plate.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas (about 1 1/3 cups). Pulse them in the food processor fitted with the chopping blade just until they are coarsely chopped; remove 1/2 cup 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 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the Creamy Garlic Dressing.

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.

Heat 2 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a large non-stick or stick resistant 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 oil and turn the patties; cook for 3 minutes or until crisp and golden.

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


Creamy Garlic Dressing

Whisk together 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper until the salt is dissolved. Press the garlic (about 1 teaspoon) into the mixture. Gradually whisk in ¼ cup heavy cream and then ¼ cup olive oil. Note: you can lighten up this dressing by replacing the cream with buttermilk or Greek-style yogurt.

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