falafel gyros with tzatziki sauce

my mom used to make all sorts of delicious food when i was a kid and i routinely turned my nose up at it and opted for cereal or peanut butter and jam. i even took to calling spanikopita, delicious spanikopita, log dump. don’t ask me where i came up with the name.

falafel was another food i despised as a child but when i tried it years later in college.. oh my god.. and drenched in cucumber yogurt sauce, even better.

i’ve given you recipes here for the falafel and tzatziki sauce. you can eat it on your favorite pita from the store, or make this lazy person’s flatbread.

tzatziki sauce
8 ounces yogurt, this is the only time i use low-fat anything for the consistency
1 english (seedless) cucumber
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

grate the cucumber with a cheese grater directly into a collander.

in batches, squeeze a handful of the grated cucumber into the sink and get out as much juice as you can. (if you like, you can squeeze this juice into a glass or bowl and use to flavor water, cocktails, iced tea.. get creative.)

put the squeezed cucumber into a bowl with the yogurt, minced garlic, and lemon juice. stir and season.

this is best when it has the change to sit overnight in the fridge.
i like my tzatziki to be cucumbers coated in yogurt, some people are partial to the reverse so add more yogurt if that is you.
be careful of adding more garlic, as this sits and the flavors mix the garlic gets stronger. if you are thinking of adding more garlic, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours (preferably overnight) before you do so.

adapted from joy of cooking: all about vegetarian cooking
1 1/4 cups dry garbanzo beans, soaked overnight (canned will not substitute here, it will be gross!)
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
small bunch or half large bunch parsley, roughly chopped
mix together in food processor, or chop in batches and mix ingredients in bowl

add spices and mix well
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground chili
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

add and mix well
1/4 cup flour

shape into patties about 3 inches in diameter and place on baking sheet

fry patties in olive oil in a skillet on medium heat until golden brown on both sides

serve in a pita or flatbread with tzatziki, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes


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