Baked Falafels with Tahini Sauce

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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!

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  • 1 cup chickpeas, dry
  • 2 packed cups of greens*
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 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

Lemon-Tahini Dressing

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Splash of water
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  1. Soak the chickpeas over night; drain in the morning and cook. To cook, place chickpeas in a pot 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. Cook for 45 minutes or until the beans become tender and soft. Drain and set to the side to cool (you can use the broth in a soup, if you prefer to reuse it!)
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F 
  3. Roughly chop your greens and the garlic.
  4. Once cooled, place the chickpeas 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. It should be a bit lemony and herbaceous. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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. There are endless ideas. I love adding something spicy like chopped jalapeño or harissa paste.

Lemon-Tahini Dressing

  1. 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).
  2. 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. 
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Photographs were taken by Mohammad Gorjestani at the Oz Farm in Point Arena, California. I had the lovely opportunity to cook for a yoga retreat taught by Valerie Starr and Rebecca Hersh.