Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Greek Salad with Falafel

Greek Salad with Falafel

Whenever I go to a restaurant that has falafel, I inevitably wind up ordering it. As much as I might look at the menu and think about other options, I have falafel so rarely that whenever I get an opportunity, it's hard to pass it up!  Of course, I'm sure the fact that most falafel is fried has a lot to do with its tastiness.

I've tried making falafel at home a few times, always baking or frying in a bit of oil.  Past recipes never impressed me, but when I saw this recipe for falafel last week I decided to give homemade falafel another shot.  This recipe is interesting because the bulk of the falafel is made up of  kaleidoscope chard.

The result? Really good!  Mark described them as "light and fluffy", which was better than past recipes that created dense little disks.  I think serving them with hummus is key, though I took it a step further and had them on top of a Greek salad.   This was a delicious dinner, and I'll definitely being using this falafel recipe in the future!

Greek Salad with Falafel

Greek Salad with Falafel

serves: 4


For the Falafel:
  • 4 cups packed chard (I used kaleidoscope chard)
  • 1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons oats, ground into a flour (or another flour, though won't necessarily be gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for frying
For the Salad:
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 12 ounces baby spinach
  • hummus for topping


1)  Start by making the falafel:  Add chard, chickpeas, garlic, sesame seeds, and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Add lemon juice, cumin, black pepper, and salt and continue to process until combined and smooth.  Turn out into a bowl.

2)  Add oat flour and stir to combine.  Form into falafel patties (I made 18, each about 2 tablespoons).

3)  Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once hot, carefully add some of the falafel patties one by one using a spatula.  Don't overcrowd the pan.  Cook the falafel for 3-4 minutes until dark brown.  Flip and cook the falafel for another 3-4 minutes on the second side.  Repeat with remaining falafel patties.

4)  Meanwhile, prepare the salad.  In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, peppers, olives, cheese, oregano, black pepper, olive oil, and red wine vinegar.  You can stir in the baby spinach as well, or serve the rest of the salad layered on top of the spinach.

5)  Once falafel are done, serve over salad with dollops of hummus on top.

(recipe adapted from minimalist baker)

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