Pea Falafel With Couscous

Time50 minutes
YieldsServes 4
Green peas add brightness to these pan-fried falafel-like patties served with lemony couscous and a bright yogurt sauce.
(Jonathan Melendez / For the Times)
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These falafel patties are made with a mixture of chickpeas and green peas to bump up the nutritional value. They are also pan fried in olive oil, eliminating the need for deep-frying and making them even more healthful. Couscous is a weeknight unsung hero because it cooks quickly, which means you can get dinner done without too much work in the kitchen. Fresh parsley and mint work overtime in this recipe, adding so much flavor to the falafel, couscous and herby yogurt sauce.


Put the peas in a food processor along with the chickpeas, flour, garlic, tahini, half the lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pulse a few times until the mixture resembles a coarse paste. Add a splash or two of water if the mixture appears to be too dry.


Finely chop the parsley and mint together on a cutting board. Reserve 1/4 cup of the herbs in a small bowl, and another 2 tablespoons of the herbs in a medium bowl. Add the remaining parsley and mint to the falafel mixture and stir until combined.


Using wet hands, form the mixture into eight even patties. Dust each with flour, shaking off any excess, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.


In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add the couscous. Cover tightly with a lid and remove from the heat. Allow to steam for 5 minutes until the liquid has completely absorbed into the couscous. Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the reserved 1/4 cup herbs, half the lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.


In the medium bowl, combine the reserved 2 tablespoons herbs, the remaining lemon zest and lemon juice and the yogurt. Season with salt and pepper and chill until ready to serve.


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add half the patties and cook, flipping once halfway through, until crisp and golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the cooked falafel to a baking sheet and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan, and repeat cooking the remaining patties.


Divide the couscous among four plates and top each with two falafels. Serve with the yogurt sauce on the side.