I was cleaning out the freezer where I keep all the gluten-free flours that I don't use very often- the chickpea flour, the brown rice flour, and the sorghum flour, to name a few. I decided I'd start using them up and so I proceeded to make the falafel recipe with the chickpea flour that was on the Bob's Redmill bag.
I'm embarrassed to say that I had never made something as basic as falafels before. The recipe called for the chickpea flour, onion and garlic powder and a host of other dried ingredients. I used real onion and garlic, and added more cilantro and parsley than what was in the recipe. I tested part of the batch and they were delicious but they looked like cookies I would make for St. Patrick's Day- runny green cookies. I added a bit more flour to the remaining batter and then the rest came out perfect.
The next day, I made them again using dried chickpeas that I soaked overnight. You soak them, drain, and then as with the chickpea flour recipe, you throw all the ingredients in the food processor and voila, you've got yourself falafels ready to be baked or fried. I don't know why I never made these before. They're the perfect gluten-free treat. To keep them healthy, I baked them.
They're so easy to make and while they're always great for a sandwich, they're even better to put in a salad or serve as an appetizer. I like them accompanied by some pickled vegetables and a yogurt tahini sauce. Drizzle with some dukkah if you have some around when serving.
BAKED GLUTEN-FREE FALAFELS
Adapted from Mark Bittman
1 ¾ cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more to taste
1 teaspoon flax seed
½ cup fresh parsley
½ cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rinse the soaked chickpeas and put them in the food processor with the garlic, onion, cumin, red pepper flakes, flax seed, parsley, cilantro, salt, pepper and baking soda.
Pulse until minced. Taste and adjust seasonings. If they appear to dry, add a little water to the batter.
Form into about 20 balls, about 1 ½ inches in diameter. If desired, slightly flatten them into patties. Patties will make them a bit crisper. Place on a sprayed or oiled baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes and then flip and bake the other side for 5 minutes. Serve topped with lemon tahini yogurt sauce and pickled onions and carrots.
They'll last at least a week in the refrigerator.
LEMON TAHINI YOGURT SAUCE
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup greek or plain yogurt
¼ cup tahini
Pinch paprika or za'atar
Put in a jar and shake. Top with a pinch paprika or za'atar.
PICKLED RED ONION AND CARROT
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
1 carrot, chopped fine with a mandolin or shredded
Combine apple cider vinegar, water and sugar in a bowl. Stir until combined.
Pour the mixture over the onion and carrot and let it sit for an hour. Pickled onions and carrots will last a few weeks in the refrigerator.