I made Falafel Sliders for the second episode of Kitchen Table Gaming. Their origin goes back to my wife and I watching an episode of Top Chef — at least I think it was Top Chef, we watch a LOT of cooking competition — with a Slider challenge. All the chefs went with fairly traditional slider construction and it seemed like everyone played it a little safe. My wife, always looking to “trick” me into making something new, asked what I would have done to take a chance and I immediately suggested the idea of using a falafel patty as the bun for a slider version of a classic falafel sandwich. I played around with the fillings a little bit and this is what I ultimately came up with. These are vegetarian but you can easily use these with a piece of chicken or a lamb patty. Basically anything you would put in a pita will work perfectly here.
(Makes roughly 12 sliders)
2 cups soaked chickpeas
8 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 large sweet onion
6 cloves of peeled garlic
1 large fistful of fresh cilantro
1 large fistful of fresh parsley
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
1 lemon zested
2 teaspoons baking powder
Oil for pan frying
1 lemon juiced
Hot sauce to taste
Heirloom tomatoes sliced into 1/4″ thick slices
Feta cheese sliced into 1/4” thick squares
Time to make the sliders:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
I have made this before with canned chickpeas and it just did not turn out as well. If you use the canned version you probably need to add more flour. Dried chickpeas are cheap and easy to use. Just soak them overnight in cold water — cover them by about 2 inches in a bowl or saucepan — and drain them when you are ready to use.
Put all the ingredients up to baking powder into a food processor and puree until the chickpeas are all smooth. You may get a couple of chunks of onion here and there but I actually don’t mind that and could even see adding the finely chopped onion after the puree part for a textural component. If you can’t find chickpea flour you can substitute AP flour. I haven’t tried it yet but I have seen falafel recipes that call for bread crumbs. Had I thought about it before recording I would have tried making this one with pita chips pulverized in the food processor in place of some of the flour.
Coat the bottom of a saute pan with oil (I used a mix of grapeseed and olive oils but you can use vegetable or peanut oil) and heat up over medium flame. I used a 2 3/4” ring mold to make my patties but you can just use an ice cream scoop if you don’t have one. Cook the patties for 2 minutes on each side in the oil and transfer to a baking sheet. Cook the patties for another 10 minutes in the oven.
Slice the patties in half like you were cutting an English Muffin and you are ready to build your sliders. I doctor up my hummus (or you can make your own, you have the chickpeas after all!) with some hot sauce and lemon juice to thin it out and use a teaspoon of that on the bottom of the sandwich. Next you add a few leaves of arugula (or any green you like) and then a slice of tomato. Top that with the feta cheese and another dollop of the hummus. Close with the other half of the pattie and you have your sliders.