Let me begin with we DID NOT put these on the grill and were very happy we did not! That would have been a colossal mess! My husband and I were concerned that this dish would be a bit dry, but with the tahini, veggies and hot sauce, it was really great! I would say that the harissa was not optional since we all had some on our "burgers" and we all really liked them as is. Harissa has got its own unique flavor that other hot sauces can't duplicate. I did have a hard time finding it around town; I ended up finding some at, of all places, Marshall's/Home Goods! I am almost out and will need to order some off the internet!
Grilled Chickpea Burgers With Creamy Lemon Tahini Sauce
1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil more for brushing
4 medium cloves garlic sliced
2 Tsp ground cumin
4 or 5 six-inch pitas
2 15.5-oz. cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
5 Tbs. tahini
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon)
1 large egg
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 English cucumber (thinly sliced)
1 medium tomato thinly sliced
Harissa (or other hot sauce optional)
Prepare a high gas or charcoal grill fire. (I wouldn't do this, we used a panini pan with out the press)
Heat the oil, garlic, and cumin in a small saucepan over medium-low
heat until the garlic is soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside
off the heat.
Tear one of the pitas in half and toast in a toaster until golden-brown
and crisp. In a food processor, grind the pita into fine crumbs;
transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and measure them youll need 1/2 cup.
If necessary, toast and grind a second pita.
In the food processor, pure 1 can of the chickpeas with the oil mixture,
2 Tbs. of the tahini, 1 Tbs. of the lemon juice, the egg, and 3/4 tsp.
salt until smooth. Add the remaining chickpeas and the pita crumbs,
parsley, and cilantro; pulse until the chickpeas are coarsely chopped
and the mixture is well blended.
Put the remaining 3 Tbs. tahini in a small bowl and gradually whisk in
2 Tbs. water and the remaining 3 Tbs. lemon juice (the tahini will
thicken at first and then smooth out).
Shape the chickpea mixture into 6 patties, each about 3/4 inch thick.
Brush both sides of each with oil. Grill, covered, until heated through
and nicely marked on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Cut the remaining 3 pitas in half and heat briefly on the grill. Layer
the burgers in the pitas with the sliced cucumber and tomatoes, drizzle
with the tahini sauce and harissa (if using), and serve.