Falafel are usually deep-fried, but pan-searing these chickpea fritters is healthier (and not as messy). Serve them in pita bread, topped with thick yogurt or tahini sauce, if you like.
Heat the oven to 425°F.
In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas, 2 Tbs. of the oil, the cumin, coriander, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper into a chunky paste. Add the onion and breadcrumbs and pulse until the mixture tightens up. You should be able to easily form it into a patty—add more breadcrumbs as needed. Gently form the chickpea mixture into twelve 1/2-inch-thick patties.
Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot. Add 6 of the patties and cook until nicely browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the other sides until browned, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer the patties to a baking sheet. Repeat with 2 Tbs. more oil and the remaining six patties. Bake the patties until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes and cucumber with the lemon juice, the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and salt to taste.
Split the pitas and stuff them with the falafel and tomato-cucumber salad.
Savor this sandwich with a side of Grilled Eggplant with Feta and Herbs.
nutrition information (per serving):
28, Fat Calories
250, Saturated Fat
18, Monounsaturated Fat
80, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips