We’ve been trying to develop a falafel recipe for years. Like the infamous veggie burger, honing the perfect texture and flavor has been difficult. As part of our lunch theme this week, we wanted to compliment our easy tartines by creating a recipe that could be made ahead and easily reheated at a workplace. Somehow falafel got thrown into our mix of ideas, and on a whim we whipped up a new version. It’s a larger falafel patty, pan-fried and then finished in the oven.
Surprisingly, the patties held together and tasted flavorful and fresh — and on the first try! Apparently it’s been a long week, because when I went to trial the recipe once more before sharing it with you, the patties were suddenly a flop: a wet and watery pile of mush in the frying pan. I was heartbroken until I realized the culprit: I had forgotten to add the flour! The next batch came together nicely with the addition of flour – a lesson we’ll now never forget.
We added a harissa yogurt sauce to complement these patties, inspired by our new Feast cookbook by Sarah Copeland. It’s simple and truly makes the dish. The patties can be refrigerated and stored for lunches or dinners throughout the week, which works well since they’re best at room temperature.
On a completely unrelated side note, are you enjoying the Olympics? We can’t get enough.
- 15-ounce can chickpeas (1½ cups cooked)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 large carrot
- ½ red onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ cup cilantro leaves (or parsley)
- 6 tablespoons flour of any type (gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch cayenne or a few dashes hot sauce (optional)
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil (for frying)
- ½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mild harissa
- 2 pinches kosher salt
- Pita bread, for serving
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Dab the chickpeas with a paper towel to remove extra moisture, then place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, then process until a paste-like consistency is formed. Scrape the mixture into a bowl.
- Add 1 carrot (cut into chunks), ½ red onion, 3 garlic cloves, and ½ cup cilantro to the bowl of the food processor; pulse until finely ground. Scrape the vegetables into the bowl with the chickpeas.
- Stir in 6 tablespoons flour, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and a pinch cayenne or a few dashes hot sauce (optional). Mix with a spoon until combined, then form 4 to 5 round patties and place them on a baking sheet.
- In an ovenproof frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Place the patties in the pan and fry them for 5 minutes, covered, then flip and fry for 5 minutes more.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake the patties for 15 minutes. Remove the patties from the oven and let them cool for at least 15 minutes to firm up.
- To make the harissa yogurt, combine ½ cup Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons harissa and 2 pinches kosher salt. Serve the patties with harissa yogurt and pita. (Patties are best served at room temperature; they can be refrigerated for several days or frozen.)