Near East

Creamy cheese and homemade falafel make for a fresh, punchy, and tasty grilled sandwich

A Vegetarian & Cooking! original grilled cheese.

-2 slices Italian bread
-1 leaf + 1.5 tablespoons kale
-1 small diced tomato
-1 ounce cream cheese
-1 ounce blue cheese
-8 ounces chickpeas
-2 cloves garlic
-1/2 small onion
-1/2 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon flour
-salt and pepper

To make the falafel, combine ground chickpeas, garlic, onion, 1.5 tablespoons chopped kale, cumin, flour, and salt and pepper to taste. I happened to use a ceramic grater to give my chickpeas, garlic and onion a finer, more paste-like consistency, and to preserve some of the flavor and nutrients.

Mix the ingredients, form 1 inch diameter balls, and pan fry, flipping once to brown both sides. Let rest on a paper towel.

Whisk the cream cheese and blue cheese and spread on a slice of bread. Top the other slice with flattened falafel, tomatoes, and a kale leaf, then grill over medium heat.

Great tang from the blue cheese, and the creamy cheese beautifully offsets the crispy exterior of the bread. Add a touch of cayenne pepper to cut the assertive blue cheese. With each bite, the subtler flavors of the tomato and falafel come through.


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