pumpkin seed falafel salad with lemon tahini dressing

That thick brown crust on falafels usually comes from deep frying, meaning the patties absorb a lot of oil along the way.
By: Anna Becker / 03/08/2016 /

Instead of using a deep fryer, we cooked these in a skillet with just enough olive oil to give them a lovely golden crisp. Pumpkin seeds in the chickpea mix make for an ultra-creamy center and lots of tangy lemon and fresh herbs provide a good dose of vitamin C and antioxidants. Cook, relax and enjoy!

What you'll need: ¾ oz fresh cilantro ½ oz fresh mint 1 clove garlic 2 scallions 1 lemon 1 can chickpeas ⅓ cup raw pumpkin seeds ½ tsp ground cumin 2 Tbsp chickpea flour (0.5 oz) 3 Tbsp tahini 2 pita breads 1 romaine heart coarse salt olive oil freshly ground black pepper

Equipment: strainer zester or microplane food processor or immersion blender large skillet

Recipe steps: 1. Prepare ingredients Set aside 6 cilantro sprigs and 12 mint leaves for the salad. Peel garlic and remove ends from scallions. Coarsely chop garlic, scallions, remaining mint leaves and cilantro stems and leaves. Finely grate zest from lemon. Rinse and drain chickpeas.

  1. Purée Reserve 2 teaspoons of pumpkin seeds. Combine remaining pumpkin seeds with the chopped ingredients, lemon zest, chickpeas, cumin, 1 tablespoon water and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor or in a bowl with an immersion blender. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped. Stir in chickpea flour.

  2. Make falafel patties Roll mixture into 10 balls, about 2-inches in diameter each, then flatten into ½-inch thick patties.

  3. Brown falafel Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add ¼ cup oil (or more if needed to fully coat skillet). Add falafel patties and cook until brown on the bottoms, 1–2 minutes. Flip, adding more oil to the pan if needed and brown on the other side, 1–2 more minutes.

  4. Make dressing Meanwhile, squeeze juice from half the lemon. Cut the other half into wedges. In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, tahini and 1 tablespoon water; season with salt. Add more water to thin out if desired.

  5. Assemble Preheat broiler. Toast pitas under the broiler, 1–2 minutes each side, then cut into wedges. Separate lettuce leaves and cut any large ones in half lengthwise. Top with falafel, drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with reserved herbs and pumpkin seeds and serve with pita. Enjoy!