This post is the perfect opportunity to expand on an aspect on my life that has changed in the last three months. I moved from the nutrition research arena, to the internet recipe publication arena. I have taken a new job as a content producer and recipe editor...basically exactly what I want to be doing. I am combining my skills of designing and analyzing diets from nutrition research with the recipe writing aspect from my blog.
About a month ago, I was assigned to edit and publish falafel recipes. As I was doing the research part, I came across this lovely blog called Taste of Beirut. She was blogging about falafel baked in a loaf pan and sliced like meatloaf. I was immediately intrigued. What a less messy and lighter way to prepare falafel. Everything is pureed together and baked. No hot oil getting on your skin, no deep-fried falafel, and no worry of crumbling. And to top it all off, she made a superb-looking tahini dressing to go with it.
My friend H coincidentally was having a Mediterranean-inspired birthday party that same week and asked us to all bring a dish. This was a perfect opportunity, because I could make the entire recipe with the plan of sharing with a large group. I know all the cooking magazines always say to never cook a dish you have never made for a party, but I see it as an opportunity to try new recipes. If if flops, it flops. But luckily I didn't have to worry about that. It was an absolute success.
I didn't have any tahini at home, and the local grocery store was selling it for $12.99 a jar. Yikes. So I decided to make a Greek yogurt sauce instead, using a few tablespoons of herbs from the falafel and lemon juice. It works out famously. This is going to be a regular rotating item for dinner parties and potlucks. It is super portable, reheats well, and can be served in so many different ways.
Adapted from Taste of Beirut Blog
Makes one 9-inch spring form pan
This method of making falafel is less messy and uses a lot less oil than deep-frying. The original recipe uses a bread loaf pan, which I was sure I had. But upon scouring the cabinets did not find. So a spring form pan was the substitute and it worked out quite well. Either way, you will be very happy with the resulting sliced falafel.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons for sauce)
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons for sauce)
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon water
2 lemons, juiced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a spring form pan with parchment paper. Grease the sides of the pan with olive oil.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Saute onion in the hot oil until translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place garbanzo beans, eggs, baking powder, cumin, salt, and onions in a food processor. Process until smooth and pasty. Add fresh parsley, cilantro, and 5 cloves minced garlic into garbanzo paste. Pulse until combined. Slowly pour 1/4 cup olive oil through the feeding tube while the food processor is still on, until fully incorporated.
Pour garbanzo mixture into prepared spring form pan. Place on a baking sheet in case of dripping. Bake in the preheated oven until falafel is lightly browned on the sides and set in the middle, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in spring form pan for about 15 minutes.
Whisk Greek yogurt, water, lemon juice, reserved parsley and cilantro, and 1 clove garlic in a small bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cover and refrigerate.
Remove the spring portion of spring form pan and slice falafel into desired thickness. Serve yogurt sauce on the side for drizzling.