I wanted to use hummus to make something that was falafel-like and very easy to make. I knew I would have trouble achieving that toothsome crunchiness of a true falafel, so I thought of using cooked quinoa as the main ingredient to get that desired texture. It actually worked even better than I thought! The quinoa on the edges that got browned up were perfectly crunchy, and the insides of these patties were creamy and juicy with just enough bite. I served these falafel style in a fresh pita with cucumber salsa, lettuce, and tzatziki.
The word gyro actually refers to the way the meat is cooked on the vertical rotisserie and sliced into thin strips. In most places in the US however, it refers to the pita rollup the meat is served to you on, and the other fillings inside. This sandwich can’t traditionally be called a gyro because it is made with chicken, but I just love how the mild flavor of the chicken contrasts with the sharpness of the cheese and olives. We decided to make these when Mandi was craving olives and feta, but didn’t know what she wanted them with. We had just made naan and loved it and wanted to make it again, and that’s when I realized the naan is very similar to the Greek flatbread the gyro is served on. I loved the way these came out and the taste instantly reminded me of my first taste of a gyro not too long ago. At my last job, Mike, Bill and I would start looking forward to lunch at 9:15 AM. When we finally got lunch we would eat so much that we would often be in a food coma from 12:45 – 3 (I always wonder why that job didn’t work out in the end…) One of our favorite stops was Steve’s Greek on Newbury St. in Boston where I would get a gyro and onion rings.