Easy Falafel Salad

After some busy busy weeks making quick dinners, we challenged ourselves to make some new recipes – finally a reason to try this falafel one!  Truth be told, I’m not a HUGE falafel fan, but my husband is, so I’m always looking for recipes where I can treat him to one of his favorite foods.  I’ve always used canned garbanzos, so it was fun to soak dried ones and see what happens.  The result was a great tasting falafel that is plenty delicious, and lighter tasting than ones deep fried at your local Mediterranean restaurant – the texture and flavor is spot on.  Aside from the time to soak the beans, this recipe is really easy, and can get from kitchen to table in under 45 minutes.  We ate ours on top of a salad, but it can also be enjoyed in an open-faced sandwich or pita.

IMG_4497.JPGEasy Falafel Salad

makes about 14-16 falafel patties

recipe adapted from One Part Plant

INGREDIENTS

1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight (or at least 8 hours*) and drained

1/3 cup onion, diced (I used sweet onion because I like the flavor better, though the original recipe calls for red onion)

1/3 cup parsley, chopped

1/3 cup dill, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, smashed with a knife

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp cumin (or to taste – could be less or more)

Sea salt

Cayenne pepper, just a pinch

1/2 tsp baking soda

Canola oil, coconut oil, or olive oil for frying (I like to use canola)

Butter lettuce or romaine lettuce (your favorite for a salad)

Toppings: hummus, tahini, tomatoes, cucumbers, bagaganoush, avocado – whatever you like to top your falafel with!

DIRECTIONS

  1.  Pat the chickpeas dry and let sit for a few minutes.
  2. The falafels taste best warm, so make sure you have all your salad ingredients ready to go.
  3. In a food processor, blend together all ingredients except the baking soda.  Pulse until smooth but a bit grainy.  This will take a few minutes.  Once combined well, add the baking soda and pulse a few more times.  Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings as needed.
  4. In a large pan, over medium-high heat, add some oil to coat the bottom of the pan (about 1 tbsp).
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, form patties with your hand and carefully place each one in the pan, forming a circle of patties around the edge of the pan.  It’s easy to be tempted to add one in the center, but this will overcrowd the pan, and make it difficult to cook them evenly.  After about 2-3 minutes, flip patties over**, so they’re a nice golden brown color.  Repeat until all patties are made – making sure to add more oil for each batch you cook. As patties are finishing, place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain off any excess oil (though there should be not much).
  6. While falafels are cooling, assemble your salad, and top with the falafels.  We like to add a few dollops of hummus and a drizzle of tahini too.  You can also add extra chopped parsley if you like.  Enjoy!

*I left the garbanzos to soak from the morning until evening, when I returned from work, and it worked great.  This is a good option if you forget to soak them overnight!

**I like to use a metal spatula and a stainless pan for this kind of pan frying.  I’ve used nonstick, but it doesn’t always create the crispy outside you want for something like this, and often leaves the insides either dried our or mushy and under-cooked.

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