I love falafel but as a sandwich in a pita it tends to get very messy very quickly. This recipe keeps the mess contained and lets you really load up on the delicious tahini dressing. I don’t use boxed “dry mixes” often, but some of the organic falafel mixes are really tasty and easy to prepare.

Mix together 2 C. Falafel mix with 3/4 C. water and let sit for 45 minutes.

Make the Dressing by combining 1/2 C. lemon juice, 1 pressed clove of garlic, 1/2 t. salt and 3/4 C. tahini in a small food processor or blender. Blend to emulsify, then drizzle in 1/4-1/2 C. cold water until the dressing is liquid enough to pour but still creamy.

Core and dice 2-3 tomatoes, then toss in a large bowl with 1/4 t. salt. Slice cucumbers into rounds to make 1 1/2 C.

Wash 1 head of Butter or mini-romaine lettuce and spin dry.  Tear into bite-sized pieces.

Roll the falafel mix into 1″ balls. Heat 1/2 C. safflower oil in a large cast iron skillet until it begins to shimmer. Add the falafel and cook until crunchy, turning 2-3 times.  Transfer to a paper towel and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Combine the cucumbers and tomatoes, including their juices.  Add 1/2 C. tahini dressing and toss to coat.

Add the lettuce and falafel, plus 1/2 C. each pitted kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese.

Toss and add more dressing to taste.

Serve with pita or crusty bread on the side.