For someone who first tried Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine less than a year ago, I have definitely taken to it quite quickly. I finally get what everyone else was always talking about- hummus is delicious! One of my favorite things to do on the weekends now is to go to a Mediterranean restaurant and try new dishes.
One dish featured on many a Mediterranean menu is falafel, which is basically ground and flavored chickpeas. Falafel is a vegetarian meal where you definitely don’t miss the meat. The chickpea mixture mimics a meatball texture, but I find it to be even better with more complex flavors. Falafel is typically fried, but in an effort to be healthier and out of a laziness, this recipe has you bake the falafel. It comes out delicious- a crispy exterior with a soft, pillowy inside.
Make sure to check out some more Mediterranean flavor:
Slightly Adapted from Pink Parsley
For the Falafel:
1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 red onion, minced
5 cloves of garlic, roasted
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon coriander (cilantro seeds)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Nonstick cooking spray
Hummus or Tzatziki sauce
Sweet pickles, chopped
Red onion, thinly sliced
Pour dried chickpeas into a large bowl. Cover with water. Let soak at least 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In the food processor, combine chickpeas, onion, garlic, cumin, parsley, coriander, salt, lemon juice, and water. Pulse until mixture forms a paste. Fold in baking powder and flour, until mixture stays together. Add more flour if needed.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Working with 2 tablespoons of chickpeas mixture, form into balls. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture. Spray falafel with olive oil or nonstick spray. Bake for 20-23 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown.
Serve on pita bread with hummus/tzatziki, pickles, lettuce, and red onion.