Falafel Pitas with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Falafel Pitas with Spicy Tomato Sauce

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For years, I have had tomato envy. Yes, every time I heard Americans declare their love for Muir Glen canned tomatoes, I had a jealous moment. You see, Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes weren’t available here in Canada … until now! Yes, now we Canadians can enjoy not only this great quality canned tomato, but their famous “Fire Roasted” variety, which adds an extra special flavour to so many dishes.

This post is sponsored by Muir Glen Tomatoes. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting brands that help support Seasons and Suppers.

As I’m sure any cook knows, the quality of the dish depends on the quality of the ingredients, and I think that’s especially true with canned tomatoes. So when I cook with canned tomatoes (and that’s quite often), I want to use the best quality I can find. Now that I’ve had a chance to try Muir Glen tomatoes, I can definitely say, they are superb and I am especially smitten with the Fire Roasted. I also love that they are organic. When I’m not looking for the Fire Roasted flavour profile, Muir Glen also has a variety of whole, diced and crushed canned tomatoes, as well as a lovely Whole Tomatoes with Basil variety, which is a great starting point for any Italian dish.

Quick and easy to make falafel pitas, served with a delicious, spicy tomato sauce.

With one of my first cans of Muir Glen tomatoes, I cooked up these delicious Falafel Pitas, with a spicy tomato sauce. The falafel are quick and easy to make, as is the tomato sauce. I used Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes, which together with the cilantro, jalapeno, onion and cumin, made a sauce that perfectly complemented the falafel.

Falafel Pitas with Spicy Tomato Sauce

So Canadians, keep yours eyes open for this new, exceptional brand of canned tomatoes when you are shopping. As they are organic, my regular grocery store stocks them in the “Natural/Health Food” section, so if you don’t see them in with regular stock, have a look there!

CONTEST! (Open to Canadians Only)

Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes is celebrating their launch in Canada with their #OnlyTheBest contest.

Muir Glen is committed to spectacular flavour by providing only the best quality ingredients. With that in mind let me know what you consider to be “the best” when trying to impress at the dinner table. Share your best recipe, hosting tip or best way to prepare a certain food. Let me know in the comments!

The prize pack will contain the new Muir Glen products that are coming to Canada, which will include:

· Fire Roasted Diced
· Fire Roasted Crushed
· Plain Diced
· Crushed with Basil

Also, there will be a PC $50 gift card!

The Recipe

Falafel Pitas with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Falafel Pitas with Spicy Tomato Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This traditional Middle Eastern food is a delicious vegetarian option. Perfect by themselves or with pita bread, topped with spicy tomato sauce.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Courses
Serves: 4-5

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Ingredients
  • Spicy Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 28 oz. ( ) can Muir Glen Organic Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. jalapeño, seeded & finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • Falafel:
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and well rinsed in cold water
  • 1/3 cup shredded fresh carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. harissa**
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. Make the Spicy Tomato Sauce: In 1 1/2-quart saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes or until softened. Add the chopped garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds, until fragrant, but not browned. Stir in the canned tomatoes, jalapeño, cumin, salt and the sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro. Keep warm until ready to use, or if making ahead, allow to cool, then transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
  2. Make the Falafel: Place chickpeas in a food processor. Cover and pulse until beans look like small crumbs. Add remaining Falafel ingredients. Pulse until mixture comes together in to a slightly chunky paste (not pureed or completely smooth, but almost). Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  3. When ready to cook the falafel, heat the 1/4 cup of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (oil should completely cover the bottom of the skillet in a thin layer). Using a measuring Tablespoon, spoon out a level tablespoon of the falafel mixture and shape into a ball. Using the palm of your hand, flatten the ball slightly into a patty. Test falafel by placing one into skillet with hot oil and cook until golden on the underside (about 4 minutes), then flip and cook to golden on the other side (about 2-3 minutes more). If patty held together well and cooked nicely, proceed to shape and cook the remaining falafel. If your falafel didn't hold it's shape while cooking, you'll want to add a few tablespoons of tahini paste or flour to the mixture to make it sturdier, before proceeding to cook the rest.
  4. Serve warm falafel with warm spicy tomato sauce in pita bread, with some lettuce and topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt or Tzatziki.
 

Cook’s Notes

Left over spicy tomato sauce is a great zesty topping for sandwiches, wraps and more.

Muir Glen organic regular diced tomatoes can be substituted in this recipe.

**Harissa is a Tunisian hot chili sauce flavored with chiles, garlic, caraway, coriander and cumin. You may substitute hot chili sauce.

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48 Comments

  • I’d love to win this giveaway, Jennifer. I think it’s appropriate for me to share Rachel Roddy’s braised chicken with tomatoes and vinegar – http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/17/braised-chicken-with-tomatoes-vinegar-recipe-rachel-roddy-kitchen-in-rome. Rachel is a food columnist (a kitchen in Rome) for the Guardian newspaper. This recipe is all about the simplicity of great ingredients and has a technique for tomatoes that was a revelation to me. “Add the tomatoes and garlic to the pan and fry gently for 5 minutes or so, or until the tomatoes are thick and sticky (and intensely flavoured), then add the chicken pieces and any juices back and turn them into the tomato.” I prepared this dish a couple of days ago and it was fantastic. I’ll bet using Muir Glen tomatoes would make it even better.

    • Thanks Mary Ann. Falafel are a great meatless meal. My daughter is slightly addicted to them, so that’s why they show up in my kitchen quite often :)

  • Jennifer, may I ask which grocery store you found the Muir Glen tomatoes? I, (like you), heard of this brand many years ago as well, and have never seen them here yet.

    • Hi Colleen, I have seen them at both grocery stores in my little town. My Independent Grocer store stocks them in their “health/natural” food section (not in with the regular canned tomatoes). The Food Basics has them on the shelf with the rest of the tomatoes.

    • Thanks Tricia. They were really nice with the tomato sauce and the added cumin in the sauce paired perfectly with the falafel!

  • Oh my… you read my mind. I was just looking for a good Falafel recipe no later than this past monday and this one sounds delicious.
    As I too would love to win and try these Muir Glen Tomatoes I just have to share with you what I made for supper last night. I love that it can be cooked in any pot or pan whether at home or at camp, on the stove or on the fire. I call it my ”Fish Fricassée” and it’s my take on one of my Mom’s old recipe. Perfect for picky eaters. You could use whichever fish you like with or without the shrimps… it’s up to you.
    It takes a while to thaw out the fish and the shrimps so I usually take these out the day before and set them in a large container to thaw slowly and safely in the fridge.

    2 small yellow onions chopped,
    2 celery stalk diced,
    2 small zucchinis quartered length wise then chopped in medium size pieces,
    1 medium red (or orange or yellow) bell pepper chopped in medium sized pieces and
    3 large garlic cloves roughly minced,
    1 x 796 ml (28 oz) can whole or diced tomatoes
    1 x 398 ml can Fire roasted diced tomatoes.
    2 x 400 gr boxes of Sole filet (thawed and drained on paper towels)
    1 x 400 gr bag 31-40 uncooked unpeeled shrimps. (thawed, peeled and drained on paper towels)
    olive oil and butter
    Sea salt
    freshly ground black pepper
    splash of white wine
    Tarragon
    Cajun spices

    In a large skillet heat up a little bit of olive oil with about 1 tb butter. Sauté the onions, the celery and the peppers. Add the zucchinis and stir until tender. Add the garlic. Season with Sea salt, ground pepper and cajun seasoning and blend well. Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine and heat until the wine is almost completely evaporated. Add the two cans of tomatoes with the juice and simmer a few minutes. Adjust the seasoning in the tomato mixture. Place all of your fish filets on top of your tomatoes and arrange shrimps all around making sure all seafood is covered in sauce. Sprinkle more cajun spices and add tarragon on the fish and shrimps and lower the heat to simmer. Let the fish and shrimp gently simmer undisturbed until the shrimps turn completely pink and the fish starts to fall apart. Remove from heat and serve over rice or as I did last night, alongside a yellow potato/rutabaga/roasted garlic purée… strangely delicious together.
    Bon Appétit.

  • i don’t have a “best” tip, but i wanted to express how excited it am about fire roasted tomatoes! i have been trolling grocery aisles looking for these for years. thanks for sharing!

    i can’t wait to see if my local grocery store stocks Muir Glen. *skips off to the store*

  • I love using the crockpot to make meals and for having guests over it is the perfect way to stress less about a meal. I enjoy doing chicken in the crockpot with lots of garlic, carrots and potatoes. A simple meal but so flavourful!

  • I’ve had these, falafels, a couple of times and I hate to say, but they were awful!?
    They were hard & super spicy, I was not pleased at all.
    But, your recipe sounds and looks so good, your recipes never seem to disappoint me at all.
    I’ve gotten many a compliment when I make something from your blog, THANK YOU! ?
    I really enjoy meatless meals, not bad at all, a little change is good for me.
    I will be making these soon and I’m sure they’ll be just great.
    Pinned!

    • Thanks Dalila :) I think these are worth trying. They may be not everyone’s taste. I loved them in the pita with the tomato sauce. They are a pretty easy meal, too.

  • My tip for #OnlyTheBest for hosting dinners is to make it fun with buffet style! That way it’s the guests choice what they want to eat & caters well to allergies/restrictions & their preferences, so everyone can leave the table happy for a successful dinner party!

  • Falafel is one of my favorites, I always order it when we go out to eat but have never made it at home – can’t wait to try it!

  • When I have a dinner party, I make sure to make a lot of food because I like to send people home a the end of the night with leftovers.

    • Love this idea, Linda. I’ve never thought of that, but how great to have the next night’s dinner sorted :) Thanks!

  • I’ve only ever hosted for close family and friends. What I found the best so far was have people make and bring a favourite dish, like a pot luck, so we can all sample each other’s favourites. My favourite to make is Loaded Baked Potato Casserole.

    • Such a great idea! It’s nice to share the cooking duties and getting everyone’s favourite dishes is bound to be a great meal. So glad you like the Baked Potato Casserole :) Thanks Breanda.

  • How did I miss this post?! I just adore falafel and your’s look just superb! I’ve never attempted them at home, but I’m inspired to now :)

  • I too have never made falafel, but I will now with this recipe! I would love to try their fire roasted in a beans and rice recipe. #OnlyTheBest

  • I’d like to be entered into this contest… Muir fire roasted tomatoes would certainly be welcome in my kitchen.

    When trying to impress at the dinner table, I try to do as much as possible before guests arrive so I’m not rushing to prepare the meal. This also gives me more time to spend with them.

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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