Monday, February 7, 2011

chickpea patty rollup

The Greek Corner in Cambridge, Massachusetts serves one of the most luscious sandwiches I've ever had the pleasure of biting into. The food at the Greek Corner is incredible all around, but I find it very hard to go there and not order the lamb sandwich, a mouthwatering rollup that combines roast lamb, rich tzatziki, tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers.

There was a time in my life when I worked just next to this restaurant and, as a result, had the excuse and privilege of eating this sandwich almost every day. I never tired of it, and it's one of the many things in Cambridge I had a hard time parting with when I moved to New York.

The recipe below was born out of a feeling of nostalgia for the Greek Corner's lamb sandwich. While there's no lamb in this recipe, I've tried to honor the general gist of the sandwich by preserving the combination of tzatziki, fresh vegetables, and grilled flatbread. In lieu of lamb, I've used spinach and chickpea patties flavored with garlic, cumin, and lemon. The resulting taste is not unlike hummus, and the texture of the patties adds a meaty dimension to the dish.

Chickpea Patty Rollup

chickpea patties (recipe to follow)
tzatziki sauce (recipe to follow)
1/2 cucumber, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
sprouts (or chopped romaine)
4 Greek flatbreads (or pita bread)

Warm the flatbread in a pan over medium heat for about a minute.

To assemble the sandwich, spread tzatziki over the flatbread and place about 3 chickpea patties down the center of the bread. Top the patties with cucumber, tomatoes, and sprouts (or chopped romaine). Roll up and serve.

(serves 2)

Spinach and Chickpea Patties

1 T olive oil, plus extra for frying
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups packed spinach
28 oz canned garbanzo beans, drained
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 t flax
1 t cumin
salt (to taste)

Begin by sautéing the shallot and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Remove from stove and pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Add the other ingredients to the bowl, including the chickpeas. Mash the mixture with a fork until a kind of paste begins to form.

To form the patties, heat a bit of olive oil on medium high in a fry pan. Spoon some of the patty mixture into the hot oil. Using a spatula, mold the mixture into small round patties. After a few minutes, flip the patties and repeat the same process on the other side.

Tzatziki Sauce

3 cups yogurt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cucumber, peeled and shredded
2 T lemon juice
dill, minced (to taste)
salt (to taste)


Secure the cheesecloth over a medium-sized bowl. Place the yogurt on top of it, and let sit, refrigerated, for about 4 hours. This process thickens the yogurt, which will reduce in size by about half. The result is similar to Greek yogurt or labne, which taste richer and less tangy than regular yogurt.

Place the thickened yogurt in a bowl and combine with other ingredients.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe how good that looks Sarah! We have to have dinner soon, our time to invite you over (but maybe I'll use one of your recipes...)

xo Katarina

Mirabella said...

Yes! I really want to see you two. Let's make a plan soon! xx