Falafel Pitas with Goat Cheese Sauce

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
These baked chickpea patties are much leaner than traditional falafel. Using soaked (but not cooked) dried chickpeas creates a hearty flavor and texture for the falafel that you won't get with canned beans. A small amount of goat cheese goes far in the yogurt sauce.

Yield:

4 servings (serving size: 2 stuffed pita halves)

Recipe from

Nutritional Information

Calories 450
Caloriesfromfat 17 %
Fat 8.7 g
Satfat 3.3 g
Monofat 1.8 g
Polyfat 2.1 g
Protein 24.9 g
Carbohydrate 72.3 g
Fiber 14.9 g
Cholesterol 10 mg
Iron 6.2 mg
Sodium 997 mg
Calcium 315 mg

Ingredients

Falafel:
1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (6-inch) whole wheat pita, torn into large pieces
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 large egg whites
Cooking spray
Relish:
2 cups chopped seeded plum tomato
1 cup chopped seeded English cucumber
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 serrano chile, minced
Sauce:
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup (2 ounces) soft (log-style) goat cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 small garlic clove, minced
Remaining ingredient:
4 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, halved

Preparation

To prepare falafel, sort and wash chickpeas, and place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight. Drain.

Preheat oven to 350º.

Combine chickpeas and next 11 ingredients (through 2 chopped garlic cloves) in a food processor; pulse 8 to 10 times or until finely chopped. Spoon mixture into a bowl. Add egg whites to chickpea mixture, and stir well. Let stand 15 minutes. Divide mixture into 16 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place patties on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

To prepare relish, combine tomato and next 5 ingredients (through chile).

To prepare sauce, combine yogurt, goat cheese, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1 minced garlic clove, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

Place 2 falafel patties in each pita half; spoon about 1/3 cup relish and 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce into each pita half. Serve immediately.

Note:

Graham Kerr,

January 2005