I’ve always had a thing for Falafel. Never thought I could MAKE it though! Turns out it’s not too hard…and oh so worth it!
I recently read a book where all of the characters went outside of their comfort zones and ended up reaping some great rewards. I truly wouldn’t have believed how much greatness was going to come from going outside of my culinary comfort zone! I decided to dabble in vegan cooking-and YOU GUYS…!!!!
Turns out you don’t need meat, nor dairy, nor eggs to create an amazing flavorful meal! Just try this Falafel with Lemon Tahini Dressing!
So I won’t lie. Yesterday was my birthday and I chose to go out for a steak. Not just any steak-a trio of filets. And I had a few bites of my husbands prime rib. AND we started with a lobster artichoke dip as an appetizer. There is no concern that I will be giving up meat (or dairy-um, ice cream, anyone?) anytime soon. But I have been trying to make an effort to try new things and with that challenge-to decrease my meat consumption.
I am a huge fan of Mediterranean food. You name it, gyros, hummus, moussaka, spanokopita, dolmades, and of course, FALAFEL! If you can order it in a greek restaurant, changes are good that I like to eat it! But I didn’t think I could make it at home.
Oh sure, I’ve made hummus. And Costco has a frozen Spanakopita that is passable, (although far from homemade). But homemade falafel? That seemed like a stretch. But as I did a little more research, it turns out, falafel is deceptively easy. A food processor and a dutch oven or deep skillet and you too can make Falafel with Lemon Tahini Dressing! It isn’t quick to make (you have to soak your beans in advance), but it is well worth it. Well, well worth it!
Normally, I use tzatziki sauce to cover my falafel, but tzatziki is definitely not vegan. So I turned to the goddess of vegan cooking, Angela Liddon of the blog Oh She Glows, for an alternative. She has a salad that uses a Lemon Tahini Dressing, and quite frankly, I couldn’t think of a better sauce for falafel than that! (PS-Angela has a new book out-check it out, I’m in love!)
Throw the falafel on a bed of hummus. Garnish with tomato wedges and thinly sliced red onion. Dollop with Lemon Tahini Dressing. Prepare to be amazed. And satisified. And so, so proud of yourself.
Without a speck of meat, dairy or eggs!
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Falafel with Lemon Tahini Dressing
- FOR FALAFEL
- 1 pound dried chickpeas
- 1 cup onion roughly chopped (approximately 1 small onion)
- 1/2 cup parsley roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Canola oil for frying
- FOR LEMON TAHINI DRESSING
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup lemon juice Approximately 3 large lemons
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
TO MAKE THE FALAFEL:
Place 1 pound of dried chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with several inches of water. Allow to soak overnight (they will get much larger in size).
After 12-24 hours, drain and rinse the chickpeas.
Place chickpeas into the bowl of a large food processor along with the onion, garlic, herbs and spices.
Pulse your food processor until the mixture turns into a coarse meal, and holds together. You may have to scrape the walls of your food processor bowl multiple times to incorporate all of the ingredients.
Remove chickpea mixture and place in a large bowl.
Stir chickpea mixture with a fork to ensure a similar texture throughout.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Remove bowl from refrigerator and using a small scoop, form balls of the chickpea mixture.
Place the balls on the parchment lined baking sheet.
Fill a dutch oven (or other high walled pot) with approximately 2 inches of canola oil (you could also use vegetable oil or grapeseed oil).
Heat oil on medium-high to a temperature of 300ºF. I used a candy thermometer to keep oil at a consistent temperature.
Using a spoon, drop a falafel ball in the center of the pot of oil to test the oil temperature. Cook 5-6 minutes, rolling falafel at least once to brown all sides.
If falafel browns faster than this, turn down heat so that the falafel will cook all of the way through.
With a spider or slotted spoon, remove cooked falafel to a paper towel lined plate or baking sheet.
Continue cooking balls of falafel in batches of 6 or 7 falafel at a time, trying to keep the oil temperature fairly constant.
TO MAKE THE LEMON TAHINI DRESSING:
Add the garlic to your food processor or high speed blender (I use my Vitamix blender), process until the garlic is a paste.
Add remaining dressing ingredients and process until smooth.
Place in a glass container and keep in refrigerator for up to one week.
Serve over falafel.
For original falafel recipe (by Tori Avey): click here
For a link to the salad using this Lemon Tahini Dressing (by Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows): click here
For another delicious Vegan recipe from our own blog, check out this recipe for Vegan Mushroom Pesto Tartlets.