Falafel pita pockets with lemon-yogurt sauce

Vegetarian

4 Servings, 550 Calories/Serving

20 - 30 Minutes

Falafel comes from the Middle East and dates back to ancient Egypt. The bean fritters are typically wrapped inside flatbreads, packed with vegetable toppings and tahini, and hawked as street food. In Sun Basket’s spin, R&D Chef Alan Li has ingeniously added cremini mushrooms to the fritter blend for extra moistness. Make sure you don’t overmash the chickpeas; you want a coarse blend, not a puree.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 scallions
  • 2 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 pasture-raised organic eggs
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • Falafel seasoning blend (panko - all-purpose flour - granulated garlic - cumin - coriander)
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon harissa powder (optional)
  • 2 or 3 Persian cucumbers
  • 2 ounces spinach
  • Fresh mint
  • 4 whole wheat pita breads
  • ¼ cup fried shallots (contain soy – optional)

Instructions

1

Make the falafel

  • Rinse the chickpeas.
  • Trim the root ends from the scallions; finely chop the scallions.
  • Finely chop the cremini mushrooms.
  • Strip the parsley leaves from the stems.
  • Finely chop the parsley leaves.
In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, scallions, mushrooms, parsley, eggs, tahini, and falafel seasoning blend. Season generously with salt and pepper. Using a masher, fork, or the bottom of a bowl, mash to a coarse paste, mixing well to combine, but don’t overmix. Using wet hands, form the mixture into ½-inch-thick patties.

2

Cook the falafel

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 to 3 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the falafel patties and cook until browned and crispy on the outside and hot within, 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
While the patties cook, prepare the yogurt sauce and the garnishes.

3

Make the lemon-yogurt sauce

  • Juice 1 lemon.
  • Cut the other lemon into wedges for serving.
In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, yogurt, and as much harissa powder as you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4

Prep the garnishes

  • Trim the ends from the cucumbers; cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then crosswise into thin half-moons.
  • Trim the stems from the spinach; tear the leaves into strips.
  • Strip the mint leaves from the stems; coarsely tear the leaves.

5

Toast the pita breads

On the stovetop directly over a flame, or in a dry medium frying or grill pan over medium heat, warm the pita breads until lightly toasted, about 30 seconds per side. Alternatively, toast them in a toaster. Cut the pita breads in half.

6

Serve

Fill the pitas with the falafel, cucumbers, spinach, and mint. Garnish with the lemon-yogurt sauce and fried shallots, if using. Serve the lemon wedges on the side.

Chef’s Tip To ensure your falafel patties hold together and sear well, take the time to finely chop the ingredients, then thoroughly mash and mix them. A food processor will work, but hand-chopped ingredients will hold more moisture.

Kids can!
  • Rinse the chickpeas.
  • Strip the parsley.
  • Juice the lemon.
  • Stir together the lemon-yogurt sauce.
  • Prepare the spinach and mint.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 550, Protein: 27g, Total Fat: 17g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Carbohydrates: 72g, Fiber: 14g, Sugar: 6g, Added Sugars: 0g, Sodium: 580mg
Contains: milk, soy, wheat, eggs

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