These are a go-to dinner in my house. Simple, delicious, and filled with protein, these are absolutely delicious over a bed of fresh vegetables any time of day (or year!). Best of all, they’re baked, so you can spare yourself the mess of frying and still have a crispy final result. Adapted from a Mark Bittman recipe. (Mark Bittman = bae)
Yield 25-30 falafel (about 6-8 servings)
FOR THE FALAFEL:
2 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked in water for 24 hours
2 large handfuls (about 2 cups) of parsley, mint, basil, or spinach
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
The juice of 1 small lemon (about 1-2 tbsp)
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
A pinch of cayenne (optional)
6 tablespoons of olive oil
Romaine lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and other raw vegetables, to serve
FOR THE SIMPLE TAHINI SAUCE:
1/2 cup of tahini (roasted sesame paste)
The juice of 1 lemon (about 2-3 tablespoons)
A generous pinch of salt
FOR THE FALAFEL:
Before you do anything, make sure you soak the chickpeas in water overnight. This helps get the beans soft enough to go in the food processor and get mostly broken up, which is what you want. DO NOT use cooked beans–that will make your final falafel too mushy.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a large rimmed baking sheet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. This provides a nice base so the bottoms of the falafel will get super crispy.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the remaining ingredients for the falafel with the exception of the remaining olive oil. I have a strong machine, so I don’t need to do much in the way of chopping/pushing the ingredients around. If you have a smaller/weaker device, make sure you chop everything up a little bit before adding it. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of water to help get things moving. Try not to do this, though, because you want the falafel DRY so it’ll reach maximum crispiness in the oven.
Once everything is a uniform texture, get out a large ice cream scoop and form the falafel into balls. Use your hands to make them spherical, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You should wind up with 25-30 falafel.
Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a small dish and, using a brush, gently top each ball with a coating of oil.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes (or until golden-brown on the bottom), then flip over and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating. Serve with a variety of yummy veggies and tahini sauce (instructions below).
FOR THE TAHINI SAUCE:
To make the tahini sauce, simply combine the tahini with the lemon juice and salt, and slowly add water until a smooth, slightly-runny texture is achieved. Tahini is just weird, so be patient and keep stirring.