Somehow, I managed not to try falafel until one of the first times I went to visit Chris in NYC—I was 22. How is that possible? Since then, I’ve been making up for lost time. Falafel with salad is something I could easily eat multiple times a week. Unfortunately, most falafel served in restaurants or from street carts is fried, which is fine once in a while but not ideal everyday fare. Plus, takeout gets expensive.

img 1473 - Baked Falafel

Gazala Place in Hells Kitchen makes great falafel!

I’ve been wanting to try  making baked falafel at home for ages but Chris has always talked me out of it, arguing in favor of authenticity over an at-home approximation. For a long time, I let it go, but the other day, I was in a mood, like, “Dude, I’ve got these chickpeas and this parsley and all these spices—screw authentic.” All signs were pointing to a falafel experiment.

I stuck with a really simple version that more evokes the essence than nails down anyone’s Lebanese grandmother’s secret recipe, but for a first attempt, I have to admit I was pretty happy with the results. I’m looking forward to tweaking it.

Ingredients:img 1907 - Baked Falafel

  • 1 15-oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ~1/2 c parsley, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth but not totally pureed. img 1909 - Baked Falafel
  2. Form mix into little balls (I ended up with 18) and place on a lightly oiled or sprayed baking sheet.img 1911 - Baked Falafel
  3. Bake 15 minutes then flip over and bake another 15 minutes or until golden brown.img 1914 - Baked Falafel
img 19151 - Baked FalafelServed with salad, a (slightly failed) attempt at cabbage and corn salad and (unpictured) hummus, these were really great. In the future, I might add more coriander and some cilantro. I might also add something a little crunchy—I know this is unconventional, but I’m curious to see how ground flax might taste in these. We will see. Enjoy!

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