Baked Falafel

May 24, 2016 at 3:55 pm (Middle Eastern, Recipes, Vegan/Vegetarian) (, , )

Falafel is what I’d feed meat-eaters to show them that eating vegetarian does not necessarily mean eating boring.  I love it and crave it, but not so much the greasiness of the deep-fried kind.  So here’s a healthier, baked version that still delivers the crispy outer coating, which makes these snacks so more-ish.  For an even crunchier result, adding flour and baking powder gives a biscuit-like finish, but the gluten-free version works perfectly fine; the key is to pre-heat the baking sheet and flatten the patties to get as much contact with the hot surface as possible for good browning.

Baked Falafel

The falafel are delicious in pita pockets with salad.  For a completely gluten-free meal, I serve these simply with salad and tzatziki dressing (substitute tahini sauce for a dairy-free option), with some quick, pickled red cabbage for a punch of acidity.

Baked Falafel 2

Ingredients (serves 2 in a salad)

  • 1 can chickpeas (unsalted), rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • olive oil for greasing
  • optional : 1 tbs all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Place a baking sheet into a 425degF/215degC oven to pre-heat.
  2. Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and well combined, scrapping down the sides as required.  Form the mixture into 6 balls.
  3. Brush the pre-heated baking tray with olive oil, then arrange the falafel balls on the tray, flattening them into 3″ patties with a spatula.  Bake for 20 mins, carefully flipping over half way through.
  4. Cool for a couple of minutes before serving with salad, dipping sauce and pita bread if desired.

Cucumber salad : Peel, halve lengthways and de-seed a lebanese cucumber, then slice into half moons.  Remove the seeds from a tomato and finely dice.  Toss the cucumber and tomato with 1 cup chopped parsley and 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion.  Whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tbs apple cider vinegar, a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper to make a quick vinaigrette for dressing the salad.

Picked red cabbage : Heat 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tsp sugar in a saucepan until salt and sugar have dissolved.  Add 2 cups finely shredded red cabbage and cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and refrigerate before serving.  Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in a sterilized jar.

Tzatziki sauce : Mix together 1 cup plain, greek-style yoghurt, 1/2 cup grated cucumber (squeezed to remove excess liquid), 1/2 tsp finely minced garlic, 1 tsp olive oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper.

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