Crispy Baked FalafelPosted: April 19, 2015
Have you ever heard of the food network show The Best Thing I Ever Ate? It showcases a bunch of celebrity chefs going berserk over their favourite foods. I had a moment like that last night. I sat there at the dinner table and could do nothing else but close my eyes and allow my taste buds the experience of a lifetime. I kid you not, folks – I think I just found the best thing I ever ate. And what a treat: I made the recipe! I get to make it again! I couldn’t have been more ecstatic!
I’ve always been a huge fan of falafel. Those crispy little morsels showcase the best of Mediterranean food: garlic, parsley, onion, and chickpeas, all melded together to create a crispy patty. Slather them with Tzatziki, roll them into a soft pita and top them off with a little lettuce and tomato. Voila! A healthy Mediterranean street food dish that was surprisingly easy to make at home.
For this recipe, I found it easiest to pop everything into a bowl and coat the falafel base ingredients with the dry ingredients before transferring it all to the food processor.
They turned out so cute and authentic looking. I brushed each side of the patties with Mighty Trio cold pressed canola oil, to get them crisp them up without having to pan fry.
I baked them at a pretty high temperature, because I was very very hungry while I was making them, and they turned out so crispy and perfect. (Baking them at a lower temperature would have cooked the middle a little more, but I was too hungry to wait for that.) Just look at the crisp on those babies! Hmmm… This is the type of recipe I have epic dreams about. For the pita assembly, cut open a soft Greek pita (I used Happy Camel’s multigrain pita), and slather one side with tzatziki (I used the tzatziki from Theo’s Greek Kouzina – I need to make a little segue here about Theo’s. I have been buying his tzatziki regularly for the past couple of months and I still can’t seem to get enough. Not only is the owner extremely happy and a delight to buy from, but the texture and flavour of the tzatziki brought me back to the one we had in Santorini on a family vacation way back. I have never had more authentic tasting tzatziki, and I might have crossed into borderline obsession over it.)
Top your pita with lettuce and tomato and enjoy possibly the best thing you ever ate!
Crispy Baked Falafel
You will need:
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp whole grain flour
- 3 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 medium-sized pitas (Happy Camel‘s soft Greek pitas work wonders here!)
- 2 tbsp each Tzatziki (Make your own or pick up some authentic Greek Tzatziki from Theo’s Greek Kouzina)
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomato
Preheat oven to 425. Combine all falafel base ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and toss evenly to coat. Transfer to a food processor (If yours is big enough – Huzzah! You only have to do this step once!), and pulse the falafel until all ingredients are roughly chopped and incorporated (You are not looking for a smooth paste here – This isn’t hummus, it’s a tasty falafel, so keep a close eye on it as you process). Transfer back to the bowl and form your patties by using an ice cream scoop or a rounded spoon to form a ball, then use your hands to flatten them out and turn them into little disks.
While most falafels are fried, these are baked. Brush each side of the falafel patties with canola oil and add to a baking dish. Bake at 425 for about 15 mins, remove from oven, and carefully flip each one. Bake for another 15 mins.
While you’re waiting, assemble your pita. Cut open the pita, and slather with tzatziki. Fill with lettuce and tomato. When your falafels are ready, add two disks to the pita. Enjoy, oh so very much!