These falafel sandwiches are straight-up amazing. The falafel is flavorful, crisp, and light, so good that even by itself it’s a wonderful thing. But add in fluffy pita bread, some spiced, spicy herb-chile sauce, some pickles, and a little smear of something creamy, and you’ll end up with something that is all about contrasting flavors and textures, something that’s crunchy and warm and savory and spicy and sour, all at the same time, all in the right amounts.
This falafel is barely more difficult to make than the falafel that comes from a boxed mix, and the end result is so much better, with a much more varied and crunchy texture and a much deeper flavor, thanks to the dried spices and fresh herbs that get blended into the mix. The deep frying may be a bit of a hassle, but it’s worth it, especially if you consider that you can save your frying oil for two more rounds of falafel, which I suspect you will be making soon after trying this recipe. Note ahead of time that the chickpeas will need to soak overnight, so account for that in your planning.
Pickled Red Onions:
Zhoug (a spicy herbal hot sauce with the texture of a salsa. It’s a wonderful addition to the traditional falafel-tahini sauce combo):
To Assemble Sandwiches:
Makes about 20 falafel, or 6 sandwiches worth, with a few left over for snacking. You can also throw these on top of a salad, or serve them with the tahini sauce and zhoug on the side for dipping. Adapted from Jerusalem.
Both of these recipes are kind of magical -- they take super simple ingredients like water, flour, butter, salt, and Vanns Smoked Spanish Paprika and turn them into beautiful, impressive golden brown focaccia and a deeply orange-red, perfectly flavored smoked paprika butter to be spread on top. It makes a great appetizer for any occasion, but be careful that your guests don’t fill themselves up on it! It’s a little bit addictive.
There’s a small restaurant chain in Los Angeles called Zankou Chicken that is well known for its super secret chicken shawarma recipe, which is crispy and juicy and beautifully spiced and comes with a crazy-good garlic sauce that will make your breath reek for at least the next few hours if not days.
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It’s going to be a cold one on the East Coast this weekend — time for a warming breakfast that gives you the power and energy to get through the day. Here’s one amazing option — Shakshuka! Not only is it fun to say, it’s a delicious, savory, healthy egg dish that makes for an exciting and comforting meal.
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