Herb Packed Falafel
Falafel are such a great addition to a vegetarian meal; I love them. They are typically fried when you order them in a restaurant or sandwich bar ~ which obviously adds to the deliciousness of the little parcels. And while I'm all for indulging and occasionally eating some fried goods, I just can't go there with homemade falafel. It seems to defeat the purpose of making a delicious & healthy home-cooked meal.
I do find they are somewhat hit and miss with home recipes. Either dry, mushy, fall apart, aren't crispy - you get the idea. But every once in awhile I'll give them ago again. I decided to test out this recipe from The Sprouted Kitchen's book Bowl + Spoon : a title after my own heart, and was pleasantly surprised. They are tasty with a great consistency. I changed a few things, but not much - recipe is almost as it reads in her beautiful book.
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons of cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
2 Medjool dates, (pitted) - I was hesitant on this but it works!
1/2 yellow onion
1 can well drained chickpeas - aggressively rinse them in a sieve with your hands to help remove as many skins as possible without getting too caught up on this step
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 bunch chopped cilantro
3/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
2 tbs psyllium husk (Sprouted recipe calls for flax seed meal - so use which ever you have)
To make the falafel, combine the first 9 ingredients in a food processor and combine until well mixed. Add the chickpeas and walnuts and blitz a few times until chunky - pushing down the sides with a spatula if need be. Be careful not to puree. Add the herbs and psyllium and pulse until all are combined. A coarse chunky mixture is what you are after. This step can be completed up to 2 days in advance. I recommend at least doing it the night before to allow all the flavours to incorporate.
Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form 2 inch balls and place on the sheet, sprinkling with a few sesame seeds if you wish. Rub you hands or a brush with some olive oil and lightly spread some on the tops of the falafel. Bake for 15 mins, flip, and bake for 10 to 15 more. I found mine needed about 30 + minutes to get the crunchy texture I was after.
Serve with salad or rice or a combo of the 2.