Legumes are a big player in the Mediterranean diet, often replacing meat—as they do here, where chickpeas (garbanzo beans) get blended with tahini and breadcrumbs to yield meatless “meatballs.” Though the expected meatless chickpea dish might be falafel, the flavor here is more akin to hummus. After blending the chickpeas and other ingredients, the mixture will be soft; not to worry—it firms up as it cooks. You can also make fritters if you don’t want meatballs; just shape into 2-inch patties and cook two to three minutes per side.
3 cups torn romaine lettuce (about 3 oz.)
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup chopped English cucumber
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes (about 5 oz.)
1/3 cup slivered red onion
3 garlic cloves, divided
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste), divided
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/8 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 large egg
Calcium 14% DV
Potassium 18% DV
Added sugars g
How to Make It
Combine lettuce, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, and onion; set aside.
Grate 1 garlic clove. Whisk together lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons water, pepper, grated garlic, 3 tablespoons tahini, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 3/8 teaspoon salt; set dressing aside.
Chop remaining 2 garlic cloves. Process chickpeas in a food processor until almost ground, about 15 seconds. Add panko, cumin, paprika, chopped garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons tahini, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt; process until almost smooth, about 15 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add egg; pulse just until combined, 5 to 6 times. Shape mixture into 20 balls (about 1 slightly heaping tablespoon each).
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. Add chickpea balls to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over and crisp on the outside, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve chickpea balls with salad; drizzle with tahini dressing. Serve immediately.
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