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Middle Eastern Falafel Burgers

Being a vegetarian, it's hard to find a burger that I can actually enjoy. I love chickpeas and the Middle Eastern cuisine. I used to always buy the Falafel mix in stores, but I decided to try and make them from scratch. The homemade patties are much fresher and so much tastier. I love to eat these burgers paired with a glass of Sutter Home Pinot Noir. It's the perfect red wine for this hearty vegetarian dish.


1 cup hot water
1/4 cup tahini
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon of fresh mint, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (15 1/2 ounce) cans garbanzos beans, drained
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry Italian breadcrumbs, divided
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 pita pockets, cut into 6" circles
6 leaves of Romaine lettuce
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped


Directions: Prepare a medium-low fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-low. To make sauce, combine hot water, tahini, lemon juice, salt, and garlice in a blender. Process until smooth. Set aside. To make patties, combine red onion, parsley, mint, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, garbanzo beans and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Place mixture in a large bowl and stir in 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Shape mixture into 6 equal portions, 1/2 inch thick patties. Place remaing 1/4 cup breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Dredge the patties in breadcrumbs. Brush the grill rack generously with oil. Place patties on rack, cover and grill until golden brown on the bottoms, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn patties and continue grilling for another 3 to 4 minutes. With 1 minute cooking time remaining, place the circular pitas on grill and toast lightly on both sides. To assemble the burgers, place lettuce leaf on bottom of pita. Place the burger on top of lettuce. Drizzle tahini sauce on top of burger. Place one slice of tomato, then 4 slices of cucumber on top of tomato. Sprinkle a pinch of parsley on top of cucumbers. Cover with the top of the pita.


Serve burgers immediately. Makes 6 burgers.