August 26, 2016

Falafel Salad with Tahini Parsley Dressing

Falafel Salad with Tahini Parsley dressing! Crispy vegan falafel patties on top of salad with tahini parsley dressing. Falafel Salad with Tahini Parsley dressing! Crispy vegan falafel patties on top of salad with tahini parsley dressing. | www.delishknowledge.com

Happy Friday! Are you loving the new layout? If you are reading this on your desktop (does anyone read blogs anymore on their computers?), then you may have noticed that DK got a little makeover. I hope you are enjoying it’s cleaner layout, friendly recipe navigation and overall aesthetic.

Since I did most of the work myself, I’ve spent a lot of this week going back over old posts and cataloging them so they work on the new site. I rarely go back and read previously published work, so this has been amusing and terrifying at the same time. It’s also been a fun reminder that I’ve evolved on some things, but a lot has stayed the same.

Falafel Salad with Tahini Parsley dressing! Crispy vegan falafel patties on top of salad with tahini parsley dressing. | www.delishknowledge.com

Like, for instance, my love affair with all things chickpea. I’ve forgotten how many recipes I’ve featured using them, but it’s quite a lot. Slow-Cooker Butter Chickpeas, Red Curry, lemon chickpea soup and a zillion more. Beans, of all kinds, are one of my favorite foods. They are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber and nutrients.

Last winter I was lucky enough to visit the Culinary Institute of America with USA pulses, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cook in the most incredible kitchens imaginable, with some of the nations top chefs. I think over the course of three days, we made no less than 50 dishes featuring dried beans and lentils; everything from bread, to chocolate mousse and of course, falafel.

To my humbling dismay, I’d been making falafel wrong all these years. I don’t know what recipe I originally took notes from, but I’d been riffing off that one ever since: canned beans, lots of fresh herbs, a little bread crumbs for texture. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Whoopsie.

Dried, soaked but not cooked beans are the secret for perfect falafel. Soak them overnight (or at least 12 hours) for a tender texture without turning to mush. Honestly, this feels like a cooking breakthrough. That moment when you see the light and everything suddenly makes sense. We now have the tools to make yummy at-home falafel, let’s do this.

Falafel Salad with Tahini Parsley dressing! Crispy vegan falafel patties on top of salad with tahini parsley dressing. | www.delishknowledge.com Falafel Salad with Tahini Parsley dressing! Crispy vegan falafel patties on top of salad with tahini parsley dressing. | www.delishknowledge.com

This batter is pretty foolproof, but you will think that it’s not sticking together at first. It will! It should be slightly crumbly, but not mushy.

I tried these patties a few ways, fried then baked, only fried and only baked. Fried was my favorite and I suggest that you do the same. These will work baked; you’ll get the same flavor but without a crispy, outer crust which is what I love most about falafel. You don’t need that much oil to pan fry them, especially if doing so in a cast iron-pan. Whichever way you decide to go, I’ve included directions for both.

Dropping the batter into a frying pan or baking sheet is immensely easier when using a cookie scoop. This small scoop is one of my most-used tools in the kitchen and works great for perfectly rounded falafel patties. It also prevents excess batter from getting all over your fingers, which is reason enough for me.

Now that you’ve got your falafel, make the salad! Lots of fresh vegetables (juicy tomatoes are key) and a drizzle of tahini parsley dressing. By now, you can guess what I’m going to say, right? Leftovers make the best sandwiches, but you already knew that.

Falafel Salad with Tahini Parsley dressing! Crispy vegan falafel patties on top of salad with tahini parsley dressing. | www.delishknowledge.com

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

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Falafel Salad with Tahini Parsley dressing! Crispy vegan falafel patties on top of salad with tahini parsley dressing. | www.delishknowledge.com

Falafel Salad with Tahini Parsley Dressing

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 salads; ~20 falafel 1x

Description

Falafel Salad with Tahini Parsley dressing! Crispy vegan falafel patties on top of salad with tahini parsley dressing. 


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 salads; ~20 falafel 1x
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 salads; ~20 falafel 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • Crispy Falafel Patties:
  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 3/41 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more/less depending on heat level)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/23/4 cup all-purpose flour (as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Tahini Parsley Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup warm water
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • pinch salt
  • Salad:
  • 68 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 english cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. MAKE AHEAD PART: Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough water to cover by at least 3 inches. Place in the fridge and soak for at least 12 hours. Drain well.
  2. Place the drained chickpeas (not cooked), onion, parsley, cilantro, salt, red pepper, cloves and cumin in the base of food processor. Process until blended but not pureed.
  3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 1/2 cup flour, and pulse together. The dough should form a small bowl and not stick to your hands. Place back in the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Remove bowl from fridge and form falafel into 1 1/2 inch balls (I used a cookie scoop).
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium cast-iron skillet (for a better crust) over medium-high heat. Fry the balls in the oil (it should be enough to just coat the bottom of the pan), until golden brown on each side.
  6. Place finished falafel on a paper towel to drain while you finish frying the rest.
  7. Make the dressing: place all ingredients for the tahini-parsley dressing in a blender and puree until very smooth.
  8. Assemble the salad! Divide lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes among 4 bowls. Add falafel and drizzle with tahini dressing. Serve with pita, if desired.

Notes

I tested these falafel twice, once baked and once lightly fried. Personally, I liked them much better texture-wise when fried and I think it’s worth it.But, to bake: Grease a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roll the bean mixture into 20 balls (or drop with a small cookie scoop),then flatten them into thick patties. Put the falafel on the prepared pan and brush the tops with the a little more oil Bake until golden all over, 10 to 15 minutes on each side.

did you make this?

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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  1. I just texted you about this!!! I love love LOVE the new layout. It’s gorgeous….as are your “headshots” on here. I’m going to have to make this recipe for my vegan sisters!

  2. I do almost all of my blog reading on a desktop. I find mobile sites just aren’t as fun to use for blogs. Especially ones I really enjoy. If I like a particular recipe, I’ll look it up on my phone when I’m ready to cook, but I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy reading on a mobile site. But I still prefer physical books and magazines too, so that could be a part of it.
    This looks so good and it might be the push that finally gets the hubby to eat falafel. A girl can dream….

  3. I do almost all of my blog reading on a desktop. I find mobile sites just aren’t as fun to use for blogs. Especially ones I really enjoy. If I like a particular recipe, I’ll look it up on my phone when I’m ready to cook, but I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy reading on a mobile site. But I still prefer physical books and magazines too, so that could be a part of it.
    This looks so good and it might be the push that finally gets the hubby to eat falafel. A girl can dream….