Baked Falafels with Tahini Sauce
Baked falafels yield a much different result than traditionally fried falafels. They are not crispy on the outside, but instead are soft all the way through. They are perfect to top a salad with or to make a wrap (radicchio is my favorite). Pour a general serving of tahini over both, and it'll bring a smile to your face, I promise. Most importantly, they're easy to execute and quick to make.
This recipe is adapted from the Faring Well blog, which a place I often draw inspiration from.
Now, onto the falafels!
1 cup chickpeas, dry or 2 cans
- 1" kombu, if using dry chickpeas
- 2 packed cups of greens*
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp paprika, optional
- 1/2 tsp za'atar, optional
- 1 tsp black sesame seeds, optional
*I found a combination of any of the following works well: dandelion greens, cilantro, parsley, arugula
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced, more to taste
- Pinch of salt
- 1 garlic clove
- Splash of water
How To Make the Falafels:
- Soak the chickpeas for 12-24 hours; drain and rinse well. To cook, place chickpeas in a large pot and cover with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Toss in a 1" piece of kombu and a 1 tsp of sea salt. Once the water comes to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 45 minutes or until the beans become tender and soft. Drain and set to the side to cool (reserve the broth for another use, if you like).
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F and roughly chop the greens, garlic, and juice the lemon in a small bowl.
- Once the chickpeas are cooled, place in a food processor along with all other ingredients. Pulse. Every 30-60 seconds you'll need to scrape down the sides of the mixture. You may need to add a splash more olive oil. Continue with this process until the mixture becomes more like a dough and everything is thoroughly combined. Taste - It should be a bit lemony and herbaceous. Make any adjustments you'd like (more salt, more lemon, etc.).
- Scoop the dough with a 2 tbsp scoop (with a release) or a spoon. If using a spoon, take the dough into your palms and gently roll it into a ball. Place each falafel on a parchment lined baking sheet. Depending on the size of each falafel, you should yield between 15-20 individual balls. If you want more of a disc shape, then gentle press down on them with the back of a spoon.
- Place in the oven for 25 minutes. Check halfway though and flip. Once done, set to the side and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Serving ideas: Top any salad with the falafels and use the tahini has a dressing. Wrap in radicchio, add in cucumber, herbs, a red cabbage slaw, and pour the tahini in! Dip into a homemade hummus. I love adding something spicy like chopped jalapeño or harissa paste.
How To Make the Lemon Tahini Dressing:
- Using a blender: Add all ingredients and blend for 30 seconds. If the mixture is too thick, add water in 1 tsp at a time. The result will be a smooth and creamy sauce. Taste and make any adjustments (more lemon or salt typically).
- Using a bowl and fork: Mince the garlic and add it to a bowl. Squeeze half the lemon, add the olive oil, salt, 2 tsp of water, and tahini. Whisk with a fork until it's mixed thoroughly. At first it will look a bit odd, but keep mixing it. The sauce will turn into a creamy tan color. Taste and make any desired adjustments.