Molly Yeh's Falafel Fattoush Salad

Molly Yeh's Falafel Fattoush Salad

4-6 servings


For the Falafel:

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for 10 hours or overnight and drained
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup lightly packed cilantro leaves with stems, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves with stems, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • Olive oil or flavorless oil, for frying
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • Black pepper
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper

For the Salad:

  • Olive oil or flavorless oil, for frying
  • 3 day-old pitas, chopped or ripped into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 cups spinach, lightly packed
  • ½ English cucumber or 3 Persian cucumbers
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced into pieces ¾-inch thick
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Black pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon sumac
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Falafel:

  1. Toast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, then coarsely grind in a spice grinder.
  2. In a food processor, combine the cumin, coriander, soaked chickpeas, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, flour, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, crushed red pepper, and a few turns of black pepper, and pulse quickly, 80 to 100 times, until the mixture is combined, but still slightly grainy.
  3. In a large skillet, heat ¼-inch oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Fry a 1-tablespoon test patty until golden. Adjust the seasonings in the mixture as desired. Form balls of falafel mixture, 3 tablespoons each, packing them firmly and then flattening them slightly. Fry on all sides until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel.

For the Salad:

  1. To make the salad: In a skillet, heat ¼-inch of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Fry the pita pieces until lightly browned, 30 to 60 seconds on each side. Transfer to a paper towel and immediately sprinkle lightly with salt.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pita chips with the spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, radishes, and mint leaves. Season with a few turns of black pepper and salt to taste.
  3. To make the dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, sumac, and salt, stirring until thickened.
  4. Drizzle half of the dressing over the salad, toss, top with the falafel, and serve with the remaining dressing.