I love me a good falafel, but who has time to make it fresh from scratch? This salad was conceived out of laziness and a strong need to problem solve. What do you do when you want falafel without the hassle and without the bread? The results: shockingly delicious. Since then, the dish has become one of our regulars.
I always look forward to this, and yet somehow I always love it even more than I expect to. The tahini is a staple in this recipe, but this was the first time I added fresh harissa. Oh. Em. Gee. If you’ve never had harissa, now’s the time. Every harissa is a little different, but at the core, harissa is a spicy North African chili-powder-based condiment. This version is based on my Tunisian grandmother’s recipe, and believe me, she never did anything wrong in the kitchen. Her harissa is no exception; after tasting it, there’s just no point in any other kind of harissa. Grandma’s version is tangy from a healthy amount of lemon juice, has a great bite from looots of fresh garlic, and has just the right amount of heat. I used almond butter and water instead of the traditional oil, making it still awesomely flavorful without the empty calories.
The salad is quick to whip up and is super versatile. Add red cabbage, iceberg lettuce, avocado, or pepperoncinis, or use cucumber as the only fresh veg…do whatever you want. Unless what you want is not to use the harissa, because that’s just wrong. And anyway, you wouldn’t do that to Grandma.
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 2 medium cucumbers or 4 small ones, diced
- 2 cups or so of cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- ½ cup tehina/tahini (1-ingredient sesame paste, not the dressing with more ingredients)
- ½ cup water
- 1 scant teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 5 cloves (or frozen cubes, which is what I used) fresh garlic
- Juice of 1½ lemons
- 1½ tablespoons raw almond butter
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange chickpeas on baking sheet, season with salt and pepper to taste (you can add garlic powder, chili powder, and/or onion powder), and broil for about 20 minutes. Check periodically to keep from burning! (You can skip this whole step and use chickpeas straight from the can. I prefer the texture when roasted.)
- Mix tahini ingredients until very smooth. In new bowl/cup, mix harissa ingredients.
- Chop veggies, add salt to taste.
- Top with chickpeas and a liberal drizzle of tahini and harissa. Enjoy!