There are a few dishes/ingredients that, when present on a menu, I will order without question. Falafel is at the top of that list. A few years ago I was at a cozy farm to table café in Chelsea Market with my mom. Quinoa falafel was at the top of the menu and I knew what I was ordering without reading any further. Their version was heavy on quinoa, spices, and herbs and I loved it so much, I made my own as soon as I got home. I tried a few different techniques and, after standing over a vat of hot, spattering oil for an hour, learned that baking was the way to go.
These baked falafel are equally full of chickpeas, quinoa, spices, and herbs. I love to top them with fresh cucumber, salty olives, sweet roasted red peppers, and thinly sliced shallot. A quick, simple tahini lemon sauce brings the whole mix together in a tasty lettuce or wheat wrap that is equally delicious eaten hot or cold. Be well!
herby quinoa falafel with tahini lemon sauce (vegan)
makes approximately 25 falafel / serves 4
3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 15 oz cans drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablesppons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoons chopped chives
juice of ½ lemon
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups cooked quinoa
tahini lemon sauce
1/2 cup tahini
3 tbs lemon juice, approximately the juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup water, more as needed
1/2 tsp salt
for topping and wrapping
thinly sliced shallot
chopped roasted red peppers
Preheat oven to 400.
Mix all falafel ingredients except the cooked quinoa in the food processor. Transfer mix to a large bowl and slowly mix in 2 cups of quinoa. Let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. Remove from fridge, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and roll and place falafel balls on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes for even browning.
In a small bowl mix all tahini lemon sauce ingredients. If the sauce is not a 'drizzleable' sauce consistency, add more water until it is.
Prepare wraps with sauce, toppings, and falafel. Enjoy!