| Disclosure: This recipe was created for Ancient Harvest. See below for more details. |
One of the earliest items I learned to make when I first started cooking happened to be baked falafels. I had fallen in love with falafels thanks to a local Greek restaurant near school but once I moved away, I had major falafel withdraw. And so, I decided to learn to make them at home, only slightly healthier. I’d be lying if I said the baked version was just as good as the fully fried version, which is why in this recipe, I split the difference and do a shallow fry. You will also notice that I didn’t go the traditional route and use dried chickpeas. This is for one primary reason: I have a hard time planning ahead and when I want to eat falafels, I want them now. I use the oven to help dry out the chickpeas slightly, which helps keep the moisture levels a bit closer to the traditional recipe. While this recipe can be made without the quinoa, I like the extra bit of texture the cooked quinoa provides.
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 bunch scallions, chopped through part of the greens
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Drain, rinse, and pat dry the chickpeas. Spread out into a single layer on a sheet tray with sides. Bake for 10 minutes, just enough that the chickpeas start to look a bit dry.
- In a food processor, combine garlic, scallions, parsley, cilantro, spices, and baking powder. Pulse until everything is minced. Transfer to a bowl. Place chickpeas in the food processor and pulse until the chickpeas resemble a course meal (but don't over process). Place in the bowl with the herbs.
- Add the egg and quinoa. Mix until everything is well combined and let rest for 15 minutes.
- To form the patties, scoop out roughly 3 tablespoons worth of the mixture. Form into a ball and press down slightly to form patty. Repeat with remaining mixture.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large, heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat. Add as many of the falafel as you can without crowding the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on one side, flip, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Falafel should be cooked through and crisp on the outside. You don't want to overcook. Repeat with the remaining falafel, adding the extra tablespoon of coconut oil if needed.
+Adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe.
Items needed for a falafel party
Since this was a party highlighting quinoa (thanks to Ancient Harvest), I went all out with the quinoa options. I used whole quinoa in the falafel, made quinoa granola but used honey in place of the maple syrup and added a pinch of cumin, and made quinoa crackers using quinoa flour (recipe coming soon). Of course, that was just the start for this falafel party.
The Toppings: I usually go all out on the toppings including roasted red pepper, kalamata olives, feta, hummus, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, and red onions.
The Base: We did falafel salads but you could also supply pita for stuffing these patties inside.
The Wine: I like to stick with the Pinots (gris + noir). The gris plays on the herb-forward parts of the falafel while the noir (I think) is great with the earthiness of chickpeas/quinoa.
Featured Ingredient: Quinoa
Quinoa is one of the few grains that I always have on hand. Even though it’s quick cooking, I like to make a big batch and use over a few days. If you go this route a few recipes you can make are:
A few more photos