Fa la la la la…fel

No, this post isn’t about Christmas or winter. Though it was snowing Friday morning, April 1st. Get yourself in check, Mother Nature!

Anyway, the first time I had falafel was while working in my dad’s office at Rutgers University the summer before my senior year of college. My dad, the purveyor of hidden deliciousness, brought me to a little restaurant across from the Middlesex County Courthouse; G&P Lebanese Pastry & Fast Foods. I immediately fell in love, and have been meaning to try my own for awhile.

Thankfully, the recipe I wound up using didn’t require me to deep-fry the falafel. As we all know, I haven’t yet mastered the whole hot oil and frying thing just yet. I’m still trying though – I wont’ give up! Aside from the fact that hot oil isn’t my friend in the kitchen, this baked version also means they’re at least slightly healthier. The recipe comes from The Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook, which is seriously right up my alley. All of the recipes are quick, easy, and best of all, cheap. The falafels were no different, though I did have some trouble locating the tahini, but I didn’t give up and eventually found it in ShopRite (we really need to find a better grocery store).

I think these bad boys would be great on a bed of lettuce, as a Middle Eastern burger, or just how we had them – in a pita with lettuce, hummus, feta, and hot sauce. Yum!

Falafel via Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook
– makes about 8 patties –

1/2 medium red potato (I wound up throwing in a whole small red potato)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 (15 1/2 oz.) can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp paprika (I did a full tsp)
1 Tbsp parsley (I omitted)

Optional ingredients:
Whole wheat pita
Feta cheese
shredded lettuce, tomato, and onion
Tsiziki sauce
Hot sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cut the potato into 1-inch chunks. Place the potatoes in a pot of water (enough to fully cover potatoes), and boil until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
3. While the potato cooks,  heat the oil in a small skillet and slowly sauté onion until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, mash the beans, potato, and lemon juice. Add the onion, garlic, tahini, paprika, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste; stir to combine. The mixture will have a consistency similar to cookie dough.
5.  Lightly oil a baking sheet with vegetable oil/spray. Spoon the mixture onto the baking sheet, forming 3-inch pancakes. Place in the oven and bake for 15-minutes.

4 thoughts on “Fa la la la la…fel

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