The Lighter Side

Here we are on Monday and it’s time for meal 2 of the weekly meal plan.  Good thing that I had something light on the menu for tonight given that I had red velvet cheescake for lunch.  (It was a rough day).  For many months I’ve been wanting to make something approximating falafel, but not fried.  Tonight’s Chickpea Patties are a good substitute.

Mine weren’t nearly as pretty as the ones in the magazine, but they tasted good.  I made almost no substitutions here, but I do have a bit of advice.  First, handle these gently as they tend to fall apart.  Resist the urge to add liquid to make them stick together better.  That will make the end result gummy instead of the light texture you’re looking for.  Second, ignore the instruction about using a non-stick pan.  I’ve always found it a little odd when recipes call for both a non-stick pan and oil.  At my house oil in a non-stick pan just pools in the middle of the pan.  The non-stick coating on the pan prevents the oil from spreading out and coating the pan.  So I say use a good cast iron pan here.  A little oil in the bottom, heated until it shimmers.  That will put a nice crisp on the outside of the chickpea patties.  Turn them carefully lest they fall apart.  Oh, my one substitution – I used ground red pepper instead of black for a little extra kick.

For the dressing I drained my yogurt in a small colander lined with paper towels.  This isn’t necessary, but I like my yogurt dressings a little thicker so removing some of the water helps.  You won’t need to do this if you use Greek yogurt.  Any salad greens will do and a little feta would be a nice touch.
Good? Yes
Easy? Yes
Good for company? You could make small patties and serve them with cocktails, but otherwise, not really
Special shopping? No

Mediterranean Salad with Chickpea Patties from Real Simple (04/09)

Ingredients

  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt (preferably Greek)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas, parsley, garlic, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper just until coarsely chopped and the mixture comes together when gently squeezed. Form into eight 1/2-inch-thick patties and coat with the flour, tapping off excess.
  2. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties, turning carefully, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Divide the greens, tomatoes, onion, and chickpea patties among plates. Drizzle with the dressing and serve with the pita chips, if using.
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