Well, enter this falafel recipe inspired by a favorite food blog, Cookie + Kate. Absolutely NO flavor or texture is sacrificed here, and I might even say that this falafel is among the best I've ever had. Including legit, Middle Eastern restaurants. Hear me out, though: these crispy chickpea patties are intensely flavorful, super easy and freeze beautifully for another night (that is, if any remain).
For this recipe, you'll need:
1 cup dry chickpeas, rinsed and soaked for at least 2 hours
1/3 red onion, chopped
1 cup fresh spinach or kale
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Salt & pepper
So a decent amount of time before you want to get your falafel going, put your chickpeas into a pot or bowl and cover with water. It's best to give them about 2 hours to soak (even longer works, too), but 1 hour will work if you're pressed for time. Don't substitute canned chickpeas here, as this will result in a soggy, non-falafel mess.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Once your chickpeas have been soaked, drain and rinse again. Transfer to a food processor along with your onion, spinach or kale and clove of garlic. Pulse until well blended and broken down. And 2 tablespoons of olive oil, your spices and sesame seeds and continue to pulse for another thirty seconds.
Take a large cast iron skillet and generously coat with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil. (Kate suggests you can use even more if you're going for more a fried-effect, though I've found that 2 works just fine.) Using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop, scoop out about 2 tablespoons work of your mixture and form into tight balls. This part is a little messy (but fun!) and a little tricky (but fun!) to keep together, but last time I checked, nobody was into crumbly falafel. Repeat until you've used all of the mixture, should make about 12-14 falafels.
|Don't mind me, said the turnip, I'll just wedge myself in here with you guys.|
Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until brown and crispy on the pan-side. Flip (caaarefully) and bake for another 15 minutes or until brown and crispy again.
These are GREAT to serve over salads with tahini dressing, with fresh sides like a carrot-mint combo or perfect tucked into a pita with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. Or just dipped into hummus. You won't even miss the fact that they aren't fried. (Thanks, Kate! And Cookie!)