Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking soda
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 large cloves garlic, cracked from skins
  • 1/2 cup packed mixed herbs such as flat-leaf parsley, mint, cilantro and dill
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • About 3 to 4 tablespoons bottled water
  • Olive oil, about 1/4 cup, enough to coat a large skillet in thin layer
For the Tahini Sauce:
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
For the Fixins:
  • 1/2 pound deli-sliced Havarti with dill
  • Chopped Romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • Chopped and drained hot pickled vegetables (Giardiniera) or banana pepper rings
Yield
Serves: 6
Preparation

Soak the chickpeas overnight with baking soda (as an alkali, it helps to break down and tenderize the legume). Or, quick soak by pouring 6 cups boiling water over the chickpeas and baking soda, and let stand at least 1 hour.

Drain chickpeas well and place in a food processor with remaining falafel ingredients, except the olive oil. Pulse into a very finely chopped mixture that looks like thick sand.  Chill at least 1 hour then form firm 6 patties that are 4 to 5 inches in diameter.

 
Combine garlic and lemon juice in a high-power blender or food processor and purée to smooth. Add tahini, cumin and salt and pureé. Thin sauce with a little bottled water as necessary, the sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
 
Coat a large skillet with a thin layer of olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add patties and cook to brown, 3-4 minutes. Turn, cook another 2-3 minutes then top with cheese to melt under a loose foil tent.
 
Take a large, half-moon shaped pita and pile a little lettuce, hot veggies and tahini sauce on half then top with patty melt and fold pita over top.