Though there’s no replicating the falafel of Israel, this version comes pretty close. Served with our spin on a classic Israeli salad and topped with a generous drizzle of lemony tahini, this homemade falafel is so simple, you’ll want to add it to your dinner rotation ASAP!
Herb Falafel With Cucumber-Tomato Salad
2 cans chickpeas
1 herb mix
¼ ounce cilantro
¼ ounce parsley
1 red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
⅓ cup chickpea flour
½ cup tahini
3 Kirby cucumbers
1 package steamed beets
Cooking with a helper tonight? They can form the falafel in Step 3, whisk the tahini sauce in Step 4, and toss the salad in Step 5.
1. Drain chickpeas over a bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons chickpea liquid to help bind falafel (discard remainder). Rinse all produce. Roughly chop cilantro and parsley leaves and stems. If you have a zester and want to infuse your tahini sauce with even more flavor, zest up to 1 lemon, then halve lemons. Peel onion and finely chop. Roughly chop garlic.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine chickpeas, garlic, reserved chickpea liquid, and ½ chopped onion (save remainder for salad); pulse until finely chopped. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, finely chop the herbs, garlic, and onion. In a large bowl, using a potato masher or fork, mash chickpeas, then stir in remaining falafel ingredients to combine. Add cumin, juice of 1 lemon, and half of herbs; pulse until mostly smooth. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in chickpea flour and half of tahini (to prevent overmixing). Season with 2 teaspoons salt and pepper as desired.
3. Using your hands, form falafel mixture into 24 equal patties, about ½ inch thick; wipe bowl clean for Step 5. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add falafel to pan and cook until browned and crisp, working in batches and adding oil as needed, 2–3 minutes. Using a spatula, flip falafel, flatten slightly, and cook 2–3 minutes more. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
4. While falafel cook, in a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest (if using), 1 squeeze lemon juice, and remaining tahini. Whisking continuously, slowly add up to 6 tablespoons water until smooth and pourable. Tahini will thicken at first when the liquid is added. Keep whisking, slowly incorporating the water, until the sauce is smooth and pourable. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Set tahini sauce aside until ready to serve.
5. Quarter cucumbers lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise. Roughly chop tomatoes. Pat beets dry with paper towel; roughly chop. To bowl from falafel mixture, add cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, remaining herbs, remaining chopped onion (raw onion has a strong flavor, so feel free to use less), juice of ½ lemon, 3 tablespoons olive oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Toss to combine.
6. Divide cucumber-tomato salad among serving plates. Top with herb falafel. Drizzle over tahini sauce and dig in!
Our falafel also makes a delicious salad topping for lunch. Check out the 2-serving version of this recipe.
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