Day seven of Operation: Expand Horizons offered my first ever vegan meal, and it was singularly delicious. Bon Appétit's Falafel with Hummus was easy, healthy-ish, and super good. The recipe calls for using purchased hummus, but come on! Hummus is easy to do yourself, and I've made it numerous times, so this time was no exception.
For the uninitiated, falafel is a Middle Eastern dish of fried chickpea patties, often served over rice or on pita bread with a drizzle of tahini sauce, which is made from ground sesame seeds. "Oh, wow, delicious," you sarcastically snort. Snort not until you've tried them!
I'd had falafel once before at a local Lebanese restaurant, and they were dry and bland. Knowing how ubiquitous this dish is among Middle Eastern cuisine, I thought that certainly there must be a better version. This recipe is it.
I ate a couple of the falafel patties plain, and made a wrap sandwich with 3 of them using a lavash wrap (a square flatbread that is like a combination of pita and tortilla), a schmear of hummus, cucumber, lettuce, and tomato. Perfect!
Since I was making this for my own lunch, I halved the falafel recipe and used the other half of the can of chickpeas for the hummus. Normally, I use a whole can of chickpeas for hummus. Here's how I make mine.
Makes about 2 cups
1 - 15 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, liquid reserved
2 small cloves garlic, peeled and trimmed of root ends, smashed
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1-2 tbsp. tahini sauce (ground sesame seed paste), to taste
fresh lemon juice from half a lemon, to taste
1 tbsp. Italian (flat leaf) parsley
Place the drained chickpeas, about half of the reserved liquid, garlic cloves, parsley, and tahini in the bowl of a food processor. Drizzle with olive oil, squeeze the lemon half over, and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh pepper. Process until smooth, scraping the bowl down with a rubber spatula halfway through. Make sure the garlic cloves have not remained whole. If the mixture seems too thick, add more of the reserved chickpea liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional tahini, lemon juice, salt, or olive oil if desired.
Serve as a dip with fresh veggies and pita wedges.