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I love falafels. They are perfect on a salad or snuggled into a pita with veggies and a good dressing. I used to buy frozen falafels for easy lunches and dinners, but they taste so much better when you make them fresh at home. They’re normally fried, but I do not own a fryer (thank god…if I did I would deep-fry absolutely everything. It would be a disaster!) So when I stumbled upon this recipe for baked falafel I had to give it a try. I love that it’s quick and easy, and makes lovely little crispy falafels that are much healthier than their fried cousins.
I don’t have a food processor so I tried whipping this up using my blender, which was only somewhat successful. If you’re like me and only have a blender (my kitchen appliances are pretty limited…) blend half the recipe together at a time, and be prepared for it to be a bit chunky. I don’t mind this at all – I like a little texture in my food – but you can mash it up a bit with a fork to get the bigger chunks out.
The best way to bake these is in a cast iron skillet, but I don’t have one; I found if I sprayed a cookie sheet very well with olive oil spray they still turned out crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. The recipe author cautions against using canned chickpeas – they contain too much water, and will make the falafels spread out too much when cooking. I soaked my chickpeas overnight and they were perfect. And I love that you don’t have to boil them before you make them into falafels!
I like to eat these on a salad or in a pita stuffed with veggies and topped with a creamy yogurt dressing. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner; sometimes I’ll make the base on Sunday and then cook them Monday night for dinner so they’re hot and fresh. You can make the whole batch and keep them in the fridge for a few days, and then reheat them before eating to crisp them up again.
Recipe from Cookie and Kate
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked at least an hour and up to overnight, rinsed
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375. If you have a cast iron skillet (lucky you!), coat with 1-2 tbsp olive oil. If not, spray a baking sheet well with cooking spray
In a food processor (or blender), combine soaked chickpeas, red onion, parsley, 2 tbsp olive oil, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Pulse until smooth (or chunky if you prefer)
Scoop out 2 inch balls with your hands and place on baking sheet or into cast iron skillet. Press down slightly. Brush tops with olive oil.
Bake 15 minutes, flip, and bake another 10-12, until both sides are nice and crispy.
Creamy Yogurt Dressing
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch sea salt
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
With the flat side of a knife or in a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic with salt until it forms a paste. Add to a bowl with yogurt and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Crispy and lightly spiced, these yummy falafels make the perfect quick meal and are a great way to switch up your salad.