I am not currently wearing raw linen. Or hemp underwear. I have not started making my own soap. Nor do I have plans to unite a ragtag gang of loners to start a banjo band. This much I can assure you.
But things have definitely gone a bit granola in my apartment. I have been hooked on homemade pita. I have no fewer than five jars of assorted nut and seed butters in the side compartment of my fridge. And a steay supply of bulk grains and dried beans has crept quietly in along with some Dr. Bronner’s magic soap.
I have all but made friends with Pancho and Lefty after one too many nights listening to Willie Nelson.
So when I found this recipe, I figured it was time to pack up and move straight to the chickpea commune. It is a fairly easy recipe. It just requires some pistachios and fresh herb, along with the obligatory beans and basic kitchen equipment.
It gently suggests you be laid back when you make them. And that is about it. Which is what you might expect from a baked falafel.
Since these guys are not fried, they have a tendency to crumble once you bite into them. But I would not consider this a weakness. Especially if you have them properly sandwiched and sauced in a pita. They are baked after all, man. They are also downright delicious.
I will spare you the adjectives. Just know that these guys are easy to love. And easy to hold. Unlike cowboys. And perhaps people that live on communes.
Baked Herb and Pistachio Falafel with Tahini Dressing
Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
for the falafel
- 8 sprigs fresh mint
- 8 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
- ½ cup pistachios
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 to 2 tbsp minced onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cardamom seeds, ground (shells discarded)
- 1 tbsp flour
- pinch cumin
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp baking powder
- dash of orange blossom water (optional)
for the tahini dressing
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp cashew butter
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- pinch of cumin
- pinch of coriander
- salt to taste
Set the oven to 395 degrees.
Remove the herbs from their stems, then blend the leaves in a food processor (or blender). Add the pistachio and pulse until well combined. Add the chickpeas and remaining ingredients and process until combined.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. (Be careful with the salt as there is sodium in the baking soda.) If the mixture does not easily clump together and hold its shape, add a bit more olive oil.
Scoop out about 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture and gently roll it into a ball, cupping it and packing it with your hands to firm it up a bit. Place each ball on a baking sheet greased with a little olive oil.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until they start to turn brown. (You may want to turn them occasionally to allow them to get color on all sides.)
While the falafel are baking, combine all the tahini dressing ingredients together in a food processor (or blender). Thin the dressing with a little water and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Serve the falafel and dressing in a pita. I like them with lettuce, tomato, onion and plain cumin-flavored Greek yogurt.
Makes about 15 falafel and about ½ cup dressing
- I used dried chickpeas that I cook and keep on hand in my freezer until they are called into falafel duty. If you are using canned chickpeas, you may want to rinse them first.