I take advantage of the night when The Renaissance Man is at work to experiment with the foods he dislikes. Usually I mix up some hummus, and occasionally I make some chili. But this week I wanted to try something different.
I had just canned a bunch of chick peas, and I wanted to find something besides hummus to make with them. Enter: falafel. I love falafel. There was a gross little hole-in-the-wall place near where I worked in St. Louis that had the best falafel ever. Just don’t pay too much attention to the conditions in which they were cooked and you’re fine. I have yet to find a good falafel joint here in TX, so I set out to make my own.
I should have attempted to make them sooner. This was the best, lightest, tastiest dinner I have had in a while. It was filling and flavorful without weighing me down. I whipped up some tzatziki sauce to send these babies over the edge!
Baked Falafel with Tzatziki Sauce
- 1 15 oz. can of chick peas, drained
- 1/2 a yellow onion, chopped
- 1/4 C. parsley
- 1/4 C. cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- a pinch of cayenne
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- enough bread crumbs to pull everything together (about 1/2 C.)
- 1 C. plain yogurt
- 1/2 a cucumber, seeded and minced
- 1/4 tsp. dill seed
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce together. You can peel the cucumber if you want; I like to keep mine on. Put the mixed up sauce in the fridge so the flavors can meld.
Step 2: Put the chopped onion, parsley, cilantro, and garlic into a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside for a minute.
Step 3: Mash up the drained chick peas in a bowl with a potato masher or spatula. DO NOT use a blender; the consistency will be too smooth.
Step 5: Add all the other ingredients to the chick pea mixture and mix thoroughly until everything is combined. Add the bread crumbs slowly until the mixture comes together. I needed more bread crumbs in mine, but I ran out. Form the mixture into patties and place on an oiled baking sheet.
Bake the patties in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 8 minutes. For a more traditional falafel, you can fry them in a heavy pan with some oil, but I find this an unnecessary addition of oil.
Serve on a plate or in a pita with your tzatziki sauce drizzled over the top. Some red bell pepper doesn’t hurt, either!