Falafel Pitas & Tzatziki with Pea Shoot Salad

Falafel Pitas & Tzatziki

with Pea Shoot Salad

20 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Falafel has long been a favorite Middle Eastern street food. A dish of chickpea fritters often eaten with pita, it’s beloved for its crunchy, creamy textural contrast. Here, we’re making falafel from scratch by mashing, shaping and pan-frying chickpeas. Authentic spices, sweet dates and nutty tahini pack plenty of satisfying flavor into the fritters, which we’re serving in warm pitas with a classic, cooling tzatziki sauce. For a springtime twist, we’re serving our falafel with a simple salad of lemon-dressed pea shoots.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Drain and rinse the chickpeas; transfer to a large bowl. Using a fork, mash the chickpeas into a rough paste. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Finely chop the dates. Grate the cucumber. Peel and mince the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). In a bowl, combine half the garlic paste and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Form the falafel:
2 Form the falafel:

To the bowl of mashed chickpeas, add the parsley, lemon zest, spice blend, tahini, dates and garlic-olive oil mixture; season with salt and pepper. Stir to thoroughly combine. Using wet hands, gently form the mixture into eight ½-inch-thick rounds.

Cook the falafel:
3 Cook the falafel:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Once the oil is hot enough that a drop of the falafel mixture sizzles immediately when added to the pan, add the falafel; cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt and pepper. Set aside in a warm place.

Make the tzatziki:
4 Make the tzatziki:

While the falafel cooks, in a bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, remaining garlic paste and the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Dress the pea shoots:
5 Dress the pea shoots:

While the falafel continues to cook, in a large bowl, combine the pea shoots and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Warm the pitas & plate your dish:
6 Warm the pitas & plate your dish:

While the falafel continues to cook, carefully place the pitas directly onto the oven rack and warm 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half; carefully open the pockets. Divide the tzatziki and cooked falafel between the warmed pita halves. Garnish with a few of the dressed pea shoots. Divide between 2 dishes. Serve with the remaining dressed pea shoots on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Drain and rinse the chickpeas; transfer to a large bowl. Using a fork, mash the chickpeas into a rough paste. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Finely chop the dates. Grate the cucumber. Peel and mince the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). In a bowl, combine half the garlic paste and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

2 Form the falafel:

To the bowl of mashed chickpeas, add the parsley, lemon zest, spice blend, tahini, dates and garlic-olive oil mixture; season with salt and pepper. Stir to thoroughly combine. Using wet hands, gently form the mixture into eight ½-inch-thick rounds.

Form the falafel:
Cook the falafel:
3 Cook the falafel:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Once the oil is hot enough that a drop of the falafel mixture sizzles immediately when added to the pan, add the falafel; cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt and pepper. Set aside in a warm place.

4 Make the tzatziki:

While the falafel cooks, in a bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, remaining garlic paste and the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

5 Dress the pea shoots:

While the falafel continues to cook, in a large bowl, combine the pea shoots and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Warm the pitas & plate your dish:

While the falafel continues to cook, carefully place the pitas directly onto the oven rack and warm 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half; carefully open the pockets. Divide the tzatziki and cooked falafel between the warmed pita halves. Garnish with a few of the dressed pea shoots. Divide between 2 dishes. Serve with the remaining dressed pea shoots on the side. Enjoy!

Warm the pitas & plate your dish:
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