Monthly Archives: August 2012

Falafel Burgers

I always feel the need to pat myself on the back when I make a “fake-out” meal. You know what I mean – these are all over Pinterest – meals that substitute super foods, grains, veggies where normally high-fat meats or empty carbs once were. It’s one thing to put applesauce in your cake recipe and another to create a satisfying meal that doesn’t make you miss your high fat/empty carb ways. Not that I have anything against those things, obviously…

I’m talking about a chickpea burger. I never order the veggie burgers in restaurants, but in college I went on a Bocca burger kick and quite liked them. So here I am, not in college, not eating a frozen veggie burger every night, but still wanting something healthy-burgeresque.

A recipe in my Fine Cooking magazine looked tasty – more like a grilled falafel instead of a fried falafel. So I made it one night and just loved it – also great as leftovers taken to work.

The only thing I would change is to make a cold creamy tzaziki sauce instead of the tahini sauce, which I found to clash with the burgers. We ended up not using the tahini sauce and instead adding some sour cream on top of our burgers, which was nice and cold, mixing well with the hot burgers and hot sauce shaken over the top.

Falafel Burgers

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1/4 c. EVOO
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 8 Pita pockets
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 5 T tahini, divided
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 T chopped parsley
  • 2 T chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cucumber, seeded, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • Hot sauce, to taste

Heat oil, garlic and cumin in small saucepan until garlic is soft, about 3 min. Set aside.

Tear up 2 pitas and toast until lightly browned. Grind in food processor until fine crumbs form. Dump out and set aside.

In food processor, puree 1 can garbanzo beans and oil mixture, 2 T tahini, 1 T lemon juice, egg and 3/4 tsp salt until smooth. Add remaining garbanzo beans and pita crumbs, parsley and cilantro. Pulse until beans are coarsely chopped and mixture is well blended. Shape into patties and grill, covered, until heated through (this can be done in frying pan, too), 2-3 min. per side. I used a stove top grill pan.

Put remaining tahini in small bowl and whisk in 2 T water and 3 T lemon juice – it will thicken before it thins. This will be your sauce, should you want it.

To serve, heat pita halves until soft and fill with burgers, tomato and cucumber. Add tahini sauce and hot sauce to taste.

Do you like my fancy tahini swish I presented? Basically a food stylist, y’all.

Yum – the burgers are warm, the cumin is warm, the garlic and Texas Pete’s are hot, the tomatoes are cold and the cucumbers are crunchy. A nice combination – I’d like to call this a whole meal in a pocket. Maybe serve with a couscous or tabbouleh salad – or not!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Heirloom Tomatoes with Feta

I have an inkling that the more global and connected our lives get through technology and new communications platforms, the more valuable hyper-local experiences are becoming.

There’s nothing quite like the sensation of browsing your neighborhood farmers’ market on a Saturday, where you run into friends, colleagues and artisans who know you by name. And yes, I mean “neighborhood farmers’ market,” because it seems I’m discovering new markets every year – we have, what, five in my city?

On my recent visit to the Old Salem Cobblestone market, I picked up a bunch of colorful tomatoes that I wanted to eat immediately. They had those green striped “zebra” tomatoes, your classic red heirloom and a pretty yellow variety called Lillian, like my sister!

Once I picked out my basket-full, I hurried over to the goat cheese stand and almost had to fight a woman to get the last 5 ounces of feta goat cheese. But I won! And I don’t feel bad.

What came later was a delicious lunch for two that would also serve well as a summer appetizer – I’m calling it a twist on my typical tomato/basil/mozzarella salad.

Heirloom Tomatoes with Feta

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large tomatoes, or equivalent smaller
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 5 oz. feta
  • Sliced baguette
  • 1 garlic clove
  • EVOO
  • S&P to taste

Preheat broiler. Place enough bread slices for two people on baking sheet and drizzle with EVOO, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until lightly toasted, then rub toasted sides with raw garlic. Place on platter.

Meanwhile, thickly slice your feta and tomatoes.

Place tomato and feta slices equally on bread, then scatter platter with basil leaves. Sprinkle with cracked pepper (you probably won’t need more salt if the feta is super salty). This was an excuse to use a beautiful new platter we got as a wedding gift.

Now, all you have to do is enjoy! The bread soaks up all the tomato juices and the feta adds a seasoning all its own. Eat with your hands.

So fresh, so simple, so yummy.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Farm Wedding – The Goat Lady Dairy

Finally, I can share with you some of the beautiful pictures from my little farm wedding. Huge thanks to the talented Candice and Dan, who captured these special moments and details that made the day.

My friend Caitlyn made these fabric banners, which matched the barn’s existing aesthetic perfectly.

Grant’s sister did all of the flowers – these decorated the aisle and one of the tables…

Inside the barn … Caitlyn also cut out pages from an antique cookbook, on which she pasted special photos from my Pinterest board. The outside tables had plain white table cloths, burlap runners, glass votive candles, white milk glass vases and blue Mason jars holding the flowers. I love how all of the chairs are mis-matched.

Cocktail tables rimmed the little pond and our Ann Wood Handmade cake toppers looked so pretty perched on that buttercream icing.

I bought cheap Ikea gauzy fabric to hang from the porch – the breeze made it swing in front of the rocking chairs.

The bar/cocktail area.

Our signature cocktail…Elderflower Mule.

It was spring, so flowers were just beginning to bloom.

And so were the little goats (kids) – these were born weeks before the wedding.

I placed “Wishes” cards for people to write thoughts for the couple, which we hung on twisted weeping willow branches that I collected at the farm and then spray-painted gold.

One of the goat cheeses in our appetizer course.

And our menu – prepared in part from ingredients picked or plucked right from the farm.

And ever after…

Sparklers.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo