Baked Falafel

March 6, 2012

falfel-1I was watching Food Network the other day, and Ellie Kreiger sparked my interest with her unique version of baked falafel. Now, I have never tasted falafel before, (let alone prepared it) but Ellie made it look rather easy, and I was inspired to try a version of my own. How can you go wrong with chickpeas, veggies and pita? I don’t think you can…
After reading through Ellie’s recipe, and then searching for some different variations at Allrecipes, I came up with my own version. Full disclaimer, I have never eaten an authentic fried falafel before, so I have nothing on which to base my baked version. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly pleased with the flavorful result. I hope you enjoy!

Baked Falafal

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Falafel:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup onion – minced
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced
  •  2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil – divided
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons flour – (I used whole wheat)

Salad:

  • 1 cup romaine lettuce – chopped
  • 1 roma tomato – diced
  • 1/2 cucumber – peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup tzatziki sauce – plus more for drizzling
  • 2 pitas – warmed slightly to make more pliable.
  • 2 squares of tinfoil – optional, but makes eating the falafel much easier

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Combine all falafel ingredients, except for one tablespoon of the olive oil, in a large food processor and pulse 6-7 times.
  3. Scrape down sides and pulse an additional few times. You want all the ingredients well combined, but the mixture should still be coarse and grainy.
  4. Using light hands, form mixture into 12 balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  5. Brush the remaining tablespoon of olive oil on the tops of the falafel balls. (You could probably spray with cooking spray as well, though I did not try this.)
  6. Place falafel in the oven for 10 minutes, flip the balls over, and continue cooking an additional 10 minutes, or until falafel are crisp and brown.
  7. Spread roughly 2 tablespoons of tzatziki on each pita bread, top with 6 falafel balls and desired amount of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Pita will be VERY full.  Drizzle with additional tzatziki, if desired.
  8. Place pita laying flat on the tin foil square, and use foil to help wrap the pita around the filling.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

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