Melty Falafel Quesadilla
Thanks to Girard’s Salad Dressing for sponsoring this post!
I’ve been in a salad dressing rut, so I was so excited to work with new-to-me Girard’s Salad Dressings to develop a recipe. It seems like so many options on the store shelves taste like straight-up vinegar, and I’m super bored with balsamic vinaigrette or blue cheese. Sometimes you just need a change, know what I mean? Girard’s had so many flavors that spoke to me right off the bat: Champagne, Caesar, Chinese Chicken Salad, Greek Feta Vinaigrette, Olde Venice Italian, Original French, Spinach Salad, Raspberry, Vin Rouge, White French and White Balsamic Vinaigrette.
I was especially up for trying the Greek Feta Vinaigrette because I figured it’d be the perfect base to create a new Mediterranean-inspired recipe, and I was so right! The tangy pepperoncini peppers and feta flavor notes in the dressing had me dreaming of pairing it with crispy falafel to create a fabulous side dish.
These Melty Falafel Quesadillas start with easy pan-fried falafel patties. Pan frying gives them a nice crispy exterior without the mess of deep frying. You can also bake the patties if you’d rather decrease your oil intake.
You build the quesadillas with a generous drizzle of Girard’s Greek Feta Vinaigrette, crumbled feta cheese, the pan-fried falafel patties, and more feta! I used a big cast iron skillet to toast my quesadilla with my heavy cast iron panini press on top, but if you don’t have a panini press, you could also just use a second heavy skillet or pot on top.
I love condiments and dips, so I whipped up a quick tahini sauce and tomato-parsley salad (from this post) and some baba ghanoush (recipe coming soon!) to serve with the quesadillas. Some garlic hummus and/or some extra Girard’s Greek Feta Vinaigrette would also be a great dipping option! This recipe would certainly make a delicious light lunch, but I envision it as the perfect side dish for some chicken shawarma!
The dressing worked just like I hoped it would: adding a tangy zing with Greek notes to the crispy savory falafel patties and melty feta. I can’t wait to try the other flavors now that I know I enjoy the brand — maybe in other quesadilla flavors!
One year ago: Giant Skillet Lemon Sugar Cookie
Two years ago: Lemon Cream Pie Bars
Three years ago: Bailey’s Hazelnut Chocolate Tiramisu (and Photographing FOOD)
Four years ago: Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Orange Rosemary Butter & Goat Cheese
Five years ago: Mini Apple Pies with Cheddar Crusts
Six years ago: Chocolate Sheet Cake
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash freshly ground black pepper
- up to 1/4 cup olive oil for pan frying
- 3 pitas, split in half
- 3/4 cup Girard's Greek Feta Vinaigrette
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- Make the falafel: Place all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until well combined, scraping the sides every now and then. Form the mixture into firm patties that are about 1/2-inch thick and 3 inches in diameter (you want to end up with 9-12 patties).
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, pan-fry half of the patties for around 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they're browned. Remove them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Add more olive oil as needed to fry the second batch.
- Assemble the quesadillas: Heat a large skillet over medium heat and place one half of a pita into it. Drizzle about 1/4 cup of Girard's Greek Feta Vinaigrette salad dressing over the pita. Crumble some feta over top. Arrange 3-4 falafel patties on the pita. Sprinkle on a bit more feta, especially on each patty. Top with the top half of the pita and then a heavy panini press or another skillet. Press down to flatten. Grill the quesadilla for 2-4 minutes per side (I have cast iron, so I started out with about 5 minutes as my skillet warmed up and then switched over to 2 minutes when it started retaining lots of heat) or until the quesadilla is toasty and the cheese is melty. Cut into four slices and serve with tomato-parsley salad, tahini sauce, baba ghanoush, hummus, Girard's Greek Feta Vinaigrette, or whatever you like!