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Make-Your-Own Falita (AKA Falafel Pita!)

Pickled veggies, crunchy slaw, fresh herbs, and creamy dressings are stuffed into pitas for a refreshing summer dish the whole family can enjoy — and customize to fit their taste.
Three Falita's

This recipe is a play on a classic — the falafel pita — which I like to call a “falita.” There’s no shortage of ingredients you can choose to add, but during the hot summer months, I opt for fillings that keep the dish feeling light and crisp.

The slaw gives this recipe great crunch, the fresh herbs tie the flavors together, and the tzatziki and tahini sauce offer creaminess without any heaviness. The real kicker here though is the pickled vegetables — I love to make them in bulk to also have around for other uses. (Note: This recipe does require some prep time, so to stock up in one session, you might consider doubling the recipes for the hummus and sauces, too. The pickled veggies should keep for about two weeks, while the sauces are usually good for about four days.)

Enjoy for the perfect family-style meal, building your own adding by more or less of the categories of ingredients to suit your preferences. If desired, almost any protein can be a tasty addition to this recipe, such as falafel, chicken, steak, or shrimp.

  • Yield 6 servings
  • Prep Time 1.5 hours
  • Cook Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 whole-wheat pitas

For the pickled vegetables:

  • 1 lb. broccoli, chopped
  • 1 lb. cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbs. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup agave

For the golden hummus:

  • 15-oz. can chickpeas
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbs. garlic
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • Salt to taste

For the tahini sauce:

  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1 cup cold water

For the slaw:

  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 head radicchio, shredded
  • 1/2 cup radishes, julienned
  • 1/2 cup fresh, flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped

For the tzatziki:

  • 1/2 cup cucumber, minced or finely grated
  • 1 cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs. garlic, grated
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. fresh dill, chopped

Directions

STEP 1
Make the pickled vegetables: Add all the veggies to a shallow pan. On the stove, heat the apple cider vinegar, spices, and agave to bring to a simmer. Pour over the veggies, cover, and set aside.
STEP 2
Make the golden hummus: Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
STEP 3
Make the tahini sauce: Add all ingredients to a clean food processor and blend until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. If you prefer your sauce to be runnier, you may need to add more water. Set aside.
STEP 4
Mix all slaw ingredients together.
STEP 5
Fold all tzatziki ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.
STEP 6
Add the tzatziki to the slaw and mix well. Set aside.
STEP 7
Puff up your pitas: This can be done by heating in a microwave for 30 seconds, in the oven at 350 degrees F for a couple of minutes, or on a hot grill until it puffs up — whatever your preference.
STEP 8
Once the pitas are puffed, apply a fair amount (a couple of tablespoons) of the golden hummus to the interior of the pita. Add the slaw mix, pickled vegetables, and tahini sauce, and choice of protein if desired.
Chef
Chef Ryan Dodge

Ryan Dodge is the executive chef for the LifeCafe’s nationwide.

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