Last Wednesday, my husband and I celebrated our third anniversary. Since I'm so sentimental, of course I had forgotten the significance of March 7 when I was scheduling hair cut appointments six weeks earlier so instead of going out to dinner we got our hair cut at our stylist's house. Yes, I'm a hopeless romantic. My husband kept the e-mail I sent him asking, "Shoot, March 7 is our anniversary, right?" as protection against blame when he forgets some important date in the future.
Luckily for us, there is a restaurant in the top floor of the building where I work and my husband was able to come up and join me for lunch on our anniversary. I'd like to say we each had a gourmet meal by candlelight, but in truth he ate a big cookie while I chowed down on a giant sweet potato and an equally giant salad. For those of you who have been to meals at our house, you know this is pretty normal. Still, I'm starting to worry a little about what our anniversary will be like twenty years from now. Hot dogs from the microwave?
What is sad is that although I forgot to plan ahead for our anniversary, somehow I remembered that tomorrow is Pi day (3/14) and made sure to make a pie for the occasion. In my defense, I just remembered a few days ago, and this pie has been on my mind for a week so it really was just an excuse to make it. Also, I'm pregnant. I'll throw that in there as an excuse, too, because I might as well get some kind of leverage out of having a giant belly and strange leg cramps in the middle of the night.
For those of you who haven't been introduced to falafels yet, they are little bites of deliciousness. They are a Middle Eastern food usually made from ground chickpeas, herbs and spices that is rolled into a ball, fried, and served in a pita with different toppings. The toppings can vary depending on the source, but generally include some cucumber and yogurt or a thin tahini sauce.
I've never tried making my own falafels since I tend to avoid recipes that involve frying out of sheer laziness, but when I ran across a recipe for a falafel pie I realized that was something even my lazy self could handle. Baking the falafel mix in a pie pan instead of making it into balls and frying it takes out a lot of the work that goes into making them but keeps the delicious flavor. It also healthies it up a bit, which I like. Since making falafel mix from scratch involves just adding ingredients to a food processor and a little chopping (the hardest part might be remembering to soak the beans ahead of time), it turns out to be a fairly quick and easy meal to make. Once the falafel base is baked you can add your preferred falafel toppings. In my case I added a little hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and a cucumber yogurt sauce, but it's something you can customize to your tastes. I liked the falafel part of the first two pies I made so much that I cooked a double thick falafel base in a second batch and ate it dipped in cucumber sauce.
Whether you already love falafels and want an easy way to make them at home, or have yet to fall in love with them, falafel pie is an easy, delicious, non-intimidating way to enjoy great falafel flavor. You can make it to celebrate Pi day, an anniversary, or just a regular Wednesday night.
Prep Time: 5 min (not including soaking) Cook Time: 20 min Serves: 6