| 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.
by Erin Alderson
+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