Baked Falafel

Baked Falafel

 

This recipe uses the traditional method and ingredients in creating these delicious falafels, but instead of deep-frying the balls, they are baked producing a much healthier product.

Baked Falafel

Ingredients                                        Makes: approx. 18 small patties
2 cups dried chickpeas, pre-soaked only (DO NOT USE cooked or canned beans!)
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
pinch cayenne pepper, optional
pinch ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (for binding)
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Fixings for wrap (optional)
Fresh large pita pockets ~or~ large tortilla wraps (use fresh pita as older is crumbly)
Tzatziki Sauce    *see recipe below
Hummus    **see recipe below
Baby Arugula ~or~ spinach leaves
English cucumbers, diced
Tomatoes, diced
Sweet peppers, cut in strips
Red onion, diced
Pickles, cut in strips
Feta, crumbled

Instructions
Soak chickpeas overnight. Rinse the chickpeas, then transfer to a large bowl filled with about three cups of water or enough to cover the beans by a couple of inches. Soak chickpeas the day before for a total of 18 to 24 hours; time depends on how hard the beans are. Beans should break apart when squeezed, but still be solid. The older the bean is, the longer it will require to absorb moisture. When the chickpeas are ready, drain and pat dry; then set aside in a bowl. Cooked or canned chickpeas will not work in this recipe, the chickpeas must be hard and pre-soaked only.

Prepare fresh ingredients. Clean the fresh parsley and cilantro, then de-stem and set aside in a bowl. Peal the garlic cloves and set aside.

Toast sesame seeds (if toasting required). Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F and move the middle rack up three-quarters the way. A toaster oven can be used, just reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Spread raw sesame seeds out on a large oven tray. Toast sesame seeds in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. When seeds become fragrant and begin to turn a light golden brown, remove from oven and transfer to a bowl.

Make falafel mixture in food processor. Place the prepared fresh parsley and cilantro to a food processor. Pulse to finely chop the herbs. Next, add the pre-soaked chickpeas, garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon juice and the seasonings (cumin, coriander, cayenne, black pepper and sea salt). Run the food processor for 30 to 40 seconds at a time, scraping sides as needed, until all is well combined forming a smooth falafel mixture.Falafel Wrap

When a smooth falafel mixture is ready, it is time to taste test the mixture and add any additional seasonings to suit taste; pulse until well mixed. Next, add the baking powder and the flour. Pulse the food processor until the mixture is well combined. Transfer falafel mixture to a large bowl, then stir in the toasted sesame seeds.

Form patties. With a small spoon scoop out a large walnut-sized portion of falafel mixture and form into a ball. Lightly rub a little olive oil on the ball, then transfer to a cooking tray. Gently press the falafel ball down to form a small patty of about half the thickness of the ball; re-form patty gently if it breaks apart. Repeat until approximately 18 patties are formed. Keep the patties 1/2 inch away from each other for even baking.

Bake. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F and bake falafel patties for about 15 minutes, carefully flipping midway through.

Serve. Serve falafel patties with tzatziki sauce or part of a sandwich wrap. Enjoy.

Make falafel wrap. To prepare a falafel wrap begin by preparing the fixings, like cutting up the vegetables. Place a moisture-warmed fresh pita or tortilla shell on a plate, open the pita gently with a knife. Spread a tablespoon or so of the tzatziki sauce and/or hummus, followed by a little crumbled feta unto the bread wrap. Next add the salad greens, prepared vegetables, onions and sliced pickles. Last add 2 to 3 of the falafel patties lightly broken. Fold up the bottom of the wrapper then tuck the contents of the wrap up on one side and then roll up the wrap tight. Avoid making the wraps too fat as they will become more difficult to roll.

Storage. Falafel patties keep well in a fridge for up to 5 days, and can be reheated when desired. Patties can also be frozen by placing them on a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the tray in a freezer until the patties are frozen. Patties can then be transferred to an air-tight container and stored for up to a couple of months.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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