Mediterranean food is at the top of the list for me. We have a local Moroccan restaurant near our house, and any time we go out to eat, it’s always a hard decision, because I just cannot get enough of their hummus, falafel, and honey tea! This month is an ode to all things Mediterranean. Especially with the Olympics wrapping up, I am getting the itch to travel, but for now, I’ll have to live it out in my kitchen. Falafel is a dish that may seem intimidating, but I promise this is a no-fail recipe. Cari and I did all the failing for you all with our falafels this month. Ha ha. Let’s just say we made huge messes in our kitchens trying to figure out what made falafel, well, falafel. This is an easy, as well as healthier recipe than most. Win win!
Ingredients for Falafel:
1 cup chickpeas/garbanzo beans, soaked overnight and boiled for 1.5 hours (can also use canned version)
½ large yellow onion
½ cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cumin
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
Olive oil, for baking pan
Ingredients for Tahini Herb Dressing:
¼ cup tahini paste
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoon maple syrup
handful fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, cilantro (can also use ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning)
3 cloves garlic
Warm water to thin
- If you are working with raw chickpeas/garbanzo beans, first soak them in a large bowl overnight. To make them easier to digest, you can also sprout them. Simply place them in a fine mesh strainer for an additional 24 hours after soaking, covering with a cloth. You will notice little sprouts coming out from the end of the beans. Finally, cover them with water in a sauce pan, and boil for 1.5 hours. Even though a little time consuming, I find this method to be preferred over canned beans. They taste better and are easier on the digestion system!
- With your prepared beans, combine all remaining ingredients except the bread crumbs and olive oil into a food processor. Process until somewhat smooth.
- Form the falafel into round balls (can also do patties), and roll in bread crumbs. This will help make them crispy on the outside!
- Pour an ample amount of olive oil into the bottom of a cast-iron pan or oven-safe pan, and then place the falafel onto the pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes, rotating when they become brown on the bottom.
- While the falafel is baking, prepare the tahini sauce. Simply combine all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.
- You can serve the falafel on a bed of greens with tomatoes and the dressing (as pictured), or you can serve with pita bread. Your choice!