After days of quick fix meals I finally had the craving to make something creative! The weather has been awful in Philadelphia thus hurling me into my typical mid-winter funk. With that I of course mentally transport myself to places I’d rather be, food I’d like to be devouring…you know me.
So I started thinking about the amazing meals I’ve enjoyed abroad as well as dishes I had not yet tried. It strikes me as rather interesting that falafel/gyros/all around ‘messy’ sandwiches are extremely popular in Europe. And can I tell you? Food trucks and quick dive-esque spots are my go to lunch spots when I’m there.
In Florence, I was obsessed with a sandwich and for the life of me I can’t remember the name. It was sort of a gourmet pulled-pork sandwich with roasted peppers, capers, and the most delicious jus I’ve ever had all on a huge round roll. The first one I had was from a truck parked a couple streets to the right of Il Duomo. It was a Sunday and nothing was open! So, I grabbed the sandwich, stood on the steps of the Uffizi and went to heaven.
Now Parisians are all about le falafel. When I was in Paris in December, I ventured to Le Marais, got lost (typical) and found myself at just the spot I was looking for… L’As du Falafel On 34, rue des Rosiers. This falafel took two hands to manage and was incredibly delicious topped with lettuce, tomatoes, grilled eggplant, peppers, tahini, tzatziki,hummus….the works! I paid the extra 2 euro and sat in the dining space crowded with college students until my belly was full.
The Falafel sandwich we enjoyed at home might not have been as indulgent as either of these two but it was most definitely delicious. The fresh ingredients paired with the crunch of the falafel and warm, hearty flavor of the flatbread was enough to make this rank as one of my favorite meals to date. I bought some ingredients and made the rest and it couldn’t have been easier.
I started with Sabrina’s baked falafel (Recipe here ); A simple and delicious recipe that took all of about 45 minutes start to finish.I loved that they were baked versus the more traditional fried variety. Plus, there was minimal prep! All the ingredients are loaded into the food processor and pulsed for a grand total of 20 seconds. Mixture rests in a warm place (I used a crockpot set to ‘warm) for 30 minutes, baked for 30 minutes (2 minute broil at end) and you’re done! Try it out, you won’t be disappointed.
The rest is up to you! Toppings are absolutely personal. For me, they had more to do with cost than taste since I love all of the traditional toppings. Tonight we used:
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- Baba Ganoush (roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice)
- chopped cucumber
- chopped tomato
All wrapped in a glorious, warmed flat bread.