These baked falafels are packed full of herbs and spices, and come out nice and crispy without any deep frying. A light summer meal, complete with fresh seasonal vegetables, quick pickles, fava bean hummus and a parsley tahini sauce. If you can’t find any heads of large leafy romain you can easily make this a salad or throw it in a pita if that’s what you’re craving.
Last weekend we celebrated my grandma’s 88th birthday. It was a celebration complete with gold balloons (thanks Naomi!), a bagel bar, the tastiest seasonal fruit salad (one of the best parts of summer has got to be the fresh fruit), three different granolas and piles of donuts! Needless to say, I ate WAY too many round doughy things… and it was totally worth it!
After eating all the carbs, these baked falafel wraps were a nice change. First you soak some dried chickpeas, you quick pickle some hakurei turnips, you make some fava bean hummus (or your favourite store bought hummus / baba ganoush), you prep and bake the falafels and while that’s happening you can chop your vegetables and blend up the tahini sauce! I often double this recipe (processing the chickpeas in batches because it doesn’t all fit in one go – I learned this the hard way) so that I have left overs for the next day or two.
Have you tried hakurei turnips? They’re one of my favourite vegetables. The tops make a fantastic addition to eggs, curries or soup, and the round white globes, well they are sweet, juicy, crunchy and tender, and make the perfect snack. They also make delicious quick pickles… and when you add a sliced up red beet, they turn the most wondrous hue of hot pink!
Baked Falafel Lettuce Wrap
yields: 25-30 falafel patties, enough for 2-3 people
- 1 cup Dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (or at least 6 hours)
- 1 tsp. Baking soda
- 1 cup packed Cilantro
- 1 cup packed Parsley
- 1/2 Yellow onion
- 4 cloves Garlic, peeled
- 1 Tbsp. Whole coriander seeds
- 1 Tbsp. Ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
- Fava bean hummus
- Pickled Hakurei Turnips (recipe below) *can be made several days in advance
- Tahini Sauce (recipe below) *can be made several days in advance
- 1-2 head Romain lettuce
- 1 pint Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 Red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 Cucumber, thinly sliced
Soak chickpeas: place dried chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Leave to soak on counter for at least 6 hours (you can do this in the morning and then cook them up for dinner), or overnight.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place them in a food processor with the baking soda and pulse until they are finely ground, they should have a wet sand-like consistency. Place them in a large bowl.
Add onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, coriander, cumin and salt to the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
Stir herb/spice mixture into the chickpeas until thoroughly combined. Place bowl in refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Form chickpea mixture into small patties (I used a Tablespoon to portion out the mixture), pressing firmly into the palm of your hand. Place them on a parchment lined baking tray.
Brush patties with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes, flip and brush the other side with olive oil and return to oven to bake another 15 minutes.
While falafels are baking wash and separate romain lettuce leaves, and slice red onion, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers
Assemble: Spoon some fava bean hummus onto a piece of romain lettuce, add your baked falafels, and top with cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, pickled turnips and tahini sauce!
Quick Pickled Hakurei Turnips
yields: 1L jar of pickles
- 1 bunch Hakurei turnips, thinly sliced
- 1 small Red beet (optional), thinly sliced
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup White vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar (fair trade, organic if possible)
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
Remove turnips from greens and thinly slice (I used a mandolin but a sharp knife will work fine). Place in a 1L glass jar or bowl.
In a small saucepan combine thinly sliced beet, water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat, then pour over turnips. Place in refrigerator to marinate, at least 30 minutes.
yields: 1 1/4 cup
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 6 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 cup packed Parsley
- 1/2 cup Tahini
- 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
In a small saucepan combine olive oil and garlic and place over low heat. (this step is optional, it gives a mellow garlic flavour, however if you want a more robust garlicky punch I suggest adding 1 or 2 cloves of raw garlic directly into the tahini sauce and skip this step all together). Let cook on low, stirring occasionally until fragrant, but not browned and tiny bubbles start to form, about 8-10 minutes.
Add everything to a blender and puree until smooth. Add more water to thin if you would like a runnier consistency.