I love falafel but sometimes it’s just too much work to form all the patties and fry them. To solve that I decided to make chickpea salad (a vegan version of tuna/egg salad) and season it like falafel. I used tahini, which is sometimes drizzled over falafel, to help hold the salad together and then seasoned it with onion, garlic, fresh parsley, and cumin. I stuffed it in some whole wheat bread with some veggies and pressed it all into one delicious panini.
I used spinach and carrots in my panini because that’s what we had around but I also think it would be great with other common falafel toppings, such as cucumbers and tomatoes. I also paired mine with a lemon kale salad (recipe coming soon) to make for one super filling and delicious lunch. One of my favorite parts about this recipe is just getting to use my Cuisinart Griddler that Jarrett got me for my birthday. It cooks these sandwiches to a perfect golden brown in almost no time. However, you could also pan fry these like you would a grilled cheese.
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
- 1/4 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Whole wheat bread
- Vegan buttery spread
- Vegetables (spinach, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.)
- Place chickpeas in a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. There can be some whole chickpeas left but the better it is mashed, the better the sandwich will hold together.
- Stir in onion, garlic, tahini, parsley, lemon juice, and cumin until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread slices of bread with buttery spread and place buttery side down.
- Spread chickpea mixture on one slice of bread and top with lettuce, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, etc.
- Cook in a panini press until bread is crispy, about 2 minutes.