Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Mezze: Baked Falafel

baked-falafel-main

Like many other Americans, my first foray into Middle Eastern food was falafel. The path by which I came to it though was an interesting one. The first time I tried falafel was, oddly, while living in the Caribbean, serving with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. There was a tiny, Israeli restaurant tucked into the narrow streets of the colonial area of Santo Domingo that became a go-to stop while visiting headquarters in the capital. Long since closed, this little shop was a haven for us volunteers, seeking a break from the delicious daily routine of rice and beans. Though it’s been nearly a decade, I can so vividly remember the crispy, spicy falafel; the fresh, warm falafel; and, as always, the laughs over stories exchanged with friends.

I have tried many different types of falafel since. My favorite so far are these baked delights, featuring chick peas in lieu of the more traditional fava. I tend to have a heavy hand with the fresh herbs, garlic, and spices. They make these baked falafel sing! Consider serving the baked falafel with creamy parsnip hummus.

If you have another favorite recipe for falafel, share in the comments below or on the Mezze and Dolce Facebook page. And if you happen to recall the name of that tiny, Israeli restaurant in Santo Domingo, please let me know! –jacque

Ingredients

1 16 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, picked over and shelled

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground sea salt or kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Mix chick peas, onion, garlic, and olive oil in a blender or food processor. The mixture should be relatively smooth and well mixed, though some chunks are fine.

2. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add in the parsley and cilantro until well incorporated.

3. Add in cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper to taste and mix well.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat over to 400 degrees.

5. Roll the chick pea mixture into small balls, as if you were making meatballs of some sort.

6. Transfer the falafel balls to the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake until crispy, golden brown on the outside. This usually takes about 17-20 minutes. You may want to rotate them halfway through the cooking process.

baked-falafel-2

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7 comments on “Mezze: Baked Falafel

  1. Move Eat Create
    May 7, 2013

    I’ve never made falafel at home that I’ve been very satisfied with, but I REALLY want to because I love it so much. I will certainly be bookmarking this recipe to give it a try sometime soon. Thanks!

  2. Katie Hazard
    May 9, 2013

    mmm this looks delicious! I’ve never made falafel either, looking forward to trying it. and i like that that they’re baked rather than fried. quick question – if i use canned chickpeas do i still need to shell them? i haven’t done that before, just not sure what that entails. also if i don’t have parchment paper can i just grease the baking sheet? thanks! 🙂

    • mezzeanddolce
      May 20, 2013

      You should definitely give these falafel a whirl. They are delicious.

      For using canned chickpeas, I’d recommend still removing the shell. It’s a thin, translucent casing that is edible, but prevents your hummus from being its creamiest self. Just pinch each chickpea between two fingers and it will pop out of the little shell.

      The parchment paper isn’t necessary. I just like to use it to save the pans and to make clean up easier. Baking directly on an lightly oiled baking sheet should be just fine.

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This entry was posted on May 7, 2013 by in Appetizers/Dips, Mezze, Side Dishes and tagged , , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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