Chickpea Burgers with Tahini

Every city has its own array of food vendors on the street. When people think of New
York City street food, hot dogs usually come to mindbut I think falafels may
eventually take over. The falafel street vendors are amazingbut the sandwiches they
produce are so rich. I cant begin to imagine the calories and fat grams packed into
those pita pockets. Yet, whenever I pass a falafel cart on the street, I find myself
in a constant state of falafel-craving all day. So heres an idea: Rather than a
heavy, fried falafel on the sidewalka lighter homemade version from Eating Well
magazine that comes with a flavorful, but also light, tahini sauce.

Burgers
1 19-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed (or homemade, see how here)
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced
1 egg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 6-1/2-inch whole-wheat pitas, halved and warmed, if desired

Tahini sauce
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini (see Ingredient note)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt

To prepare burgers: Place chickpeas, scallions, egg, flour, oregano, cumin and 1/4
teaspoon salt in a food processor. Pulse, stopping once or twice to scrape down the
sides, until a coarse mixture forms that holds together when pressed. (The mixture
will be moist.) Form into 4 patties. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over
medium-high heat. Add patties and cook until golden and beginning to crisp, 4 to 5
minutes. Carefully flip and cook until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes more. Meanwhile,
combine yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
Divide the patties among the pitas and serve with the sauce.

Ingredient note: Tahini is a smooth, thick paste made from ground
sesame seeds and commonly used in Middle Eastern foods. Look for it in
the Middle Eastern section or near other nut butters in large
supermarkets.

Nutrition per serving: 399 calories; 15 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 8g
mono unsaturated fat); 55 mg cholesterol; 55 g carbohydrates; 15 g
protein; 9 g fiber; 743 mg sodium; 494 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Fiber (37% daily value), Folate (32% dv), Vitamin C
(30% dv), Iron (20% dv). 3 carbohydrate servings.

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat.

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