Tofu and Chickpea Patties with Cucumber Mint Relish

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Have you ever googled a random grouping of ingredients and hoped something delicious would turn up? Last week I did just that with tofu, chickpeas, and mint and found a recipe for Tofu and and Chickpea Patties with Cucumber Mint Relish, found on MyRecipes.com, originally from Oxmoor House. Everything about this dish is appealing to a greedy vegetarian like me. I want my meals hearty and flavorful, and I refuse to believe the best I can do is steamed vegetables and a slice of bread. I pulled out my blender and my can of chickpeas and got started.

Tofu and Chickpea Patties with Cucumber Mint Relish

Ingredients
Tofu and Chickpea Patties
1/2 (14-ounce) package firm tofu, drained
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large egg
1/3 cup dry Italian seasoning breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 cup water
Hot sauce, optional

Cucumber Mint Relish
3 cups finely diced seeded peeled cucumber
1/4 cup plain yogurt
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
Put all patty ingredients in blender and pulse until chunky, but mixed. Add water as needed to ensure blender keeps moving. Stop and stir mixture often to ensure ingredients are adequately mixed. Use tablespoon to create small patties. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add patties, and cook 5 minutes on each side, until browned. Serve with hot sauce and relish.

Mix all relish ingredients in bowl. Serve with patties.

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There was plenty of simplification and recipe altering on my part when I made these patties. I didn’t have relish or garlic, so I replaced them with more mint from my garden and garlic salt. For the relish, I replaced mayonnaise with yogurt to cut some fat out of the recipe. Even after these changes, the patties and relish turned out very satisfying. They were creamy thanks to the chickpeas, almost having a baked hummus consistency in the middle. The mint and garlic gave them a tasty, light, Mediterranean flavor and I decided they would be a great falafel replacement. They can also substitute veggie burger patties at barbecues considering it took me ten minutes to make them.

These patties are also a reminder that I’m lucky enough to have my sous-chef, Google, around to give me ideas around any assortment of foods I want to throw together!

Post by Nandini Ahuja. Photo from Oxmoor House. Recipe adapted from MyRecipes.com.