Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Laurel's Kitchen:: Falafel and "Arab Bread"

I was at my friend Laurie's house last night for "crochitting" party (crochet and knitting) and it was so fun!  Laurie reads this blog sometimes, so if she gives permission, I'll share some awesome photos I got to take of her art studio and some bits around her beautiful home.  Oh, and the food!  Holy cow.  The food. 

Well, in fact, the reason I bring up Laurie just now (besides hoping she'll be moved to grant us permission!) is because she is one of the people who recommended Laurel's Kitchen to me in the first place.  She was showing me a second LK book, called The Bread Book and it also looks fantastic.   I have just a wee bit left on my gift card, so I'll be looking for a second hand version, once again.

Last weekend I made the falafel.  I used to get falafel at a deli near my work in the Financial District of SF (back in the day! :) and it was a round ball and it was from the parsley, perhaps, plus it was a bit of a crunchy, fried-like kind of texture?  When you ordered it, they'd heat it, mush the ball into a patty-shape, and pop it into a pita with some shredded veggies and either yogurt or humus... pick your poison.

For all I know, I may have done something so wrong here, but they tasted fantastic anyway.  Falafel is pureed garbanzo beans, held together with some potato and lots of parsley...the flavor comes from garlic and lemon, plus some spicy-spices, and there's nothing wrong with that, not at all!

The pitas start off as pretty much the basic whole wheat bread dough.  I have to say...this batch of the whole wheat dough was by far my best attempt.  It was elastic and soft and moist-ish.  If you weren't around for the canneloni disaster, you may not be able to fully appreciate the beauty that is this dough. 

You cook them for five quick minutes, and they puff up.  Then you slice them open, fill them with vegetables (lettuce, cucumber, and tomato for us) and plop the falafel patty right in there.  This book was published in the early 70s, and I have to giggle at the "Arab Bread" moniker! 

Verdict:  We LOVE this!  It's tasty and oh-so-healthy.  I was telling Laurie yesterday, and I'll tell you today, that in the future I think I would just pick up whole wheat pitas at the store.  I don't mind some bread-work, but many of these puffed, and then got too hard; others puffed appropriately, but then deflated and were difficult (read: impossible) to slice.  In fact, just tonight I served Erik what I called a "flasammy", which involved two pitas with the falafel and veggies stacked between them, rather than couched inside one!  But I love having the falafel on hand (for lunches, snacks, and dinners, it's that good!) and it's so easy to make.  It will be a standby from now on.


  1. oh my! wonderful! i would have loved that!

  2. add some hummus and thaini, and hot sauce. heaven

  3. "Crochitting" Haha! I love that! Mia, off course you can post the photos. I'd love to see them. Your falafel looks just the way it does when I make it and, seeing your pictures, I think I need to make some soon. Mmmm. I'm so glad you were able to come over on Tuesday. It was great to spend time with you!

  4. This looks great - thanks for sharing it.

  5. Your pitas look wonderful! In my one and only attempt, they did not puff at all. And were ALL impossible to fill so we ate them like flat bread!

  6. Michelle ~ Do you have a recipe? I'll send you this one if you want it, Erik loved it too! I used some tahini. Yum. Yum-yum!

    Laurie ~ that's good to know about the falafel! I knew it tasted good, but you know, how could I go wrong with that ingredients list?

    Keith ~ Thanks.

    Gina ~ Oh, ha! Good to know it's not just me. You are my bread-making inspiration, so it's good to know I'm good company here. :)