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Baked Falafel Salad With Lemon-Tahini Dressing Recipe

falafel salad in wood bowl
falafel salad in wood bowl - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Falafel, a delightful Middle Eastern food that is popular worldwide, is bursting with flavor from the combination of fresh herbs and spices like cilantro, parsley, cumin, and coriander. The crispy exterior and soft interior offers a tasty contrast in texture. It's also a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans as it is made from plant-based ingredients, primarily chickpeas, and this recipe is no different.

Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us a falafel recipe and a salad recipe, all wrapped up into one delicious dish. As she tells us, "One of the best things about falafel is how versatile it is. Whether served as a standalone snack, stuffed into pita bread or wraps, or added to salads, it's delicious." In this particular salad, the falafel pairs beautifully with fresh greens, veggies, and a tangy lemon tahini dressing. Bright, vibrant, zesty, and tangy, this salad makes for a great dinnertime appetizer or side dish.

Read more: 30 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Ruin Your Diet

Gather The Ingredients For Baked Falafel Salad With Lemon-Tahini Dressing

falafel salad ingredients
falafel salad ingredients - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

To make this recipe, start in the produce aisle and pick up shallots, garlic, cilantro, parsley, mixed greens, English cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, and lemon. "You can use either curly or Italian parsley for this recipe and any type of lettuce that you like in your salads will work," Hahn says.

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Then grab some dry chickpeas, kalamata olives, tahini, and maple syrup. "Even though you will see recipes out there using canned chickpeas, the classic way to make falafel is with dry chickpeas, which are soaked, ground, and combined with the other ingredients," Hahn explains. Finally, check your pantry for olive oil, cumin, coriander, salt, and baking powder.

Step 1: Soak The Chickpeas

adding water to chickpeas
adding water to chickpeas - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Put the dry chickpeas in a bowl and cover with plenty of water. Let them soak overnight or for at least 10 hours.

Step 2: Preheat The Oven

setting oven to 400 F
setting oven to 400 F - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Step 3: Drain And Rinse The Chickpeas

water rinsing chickpeas
water rinsing chickpeas - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Drain the chickpeas and rinse with fresh water.

Step 4: Add Falafel Ingredients To Food Processor

adding shallots to food processor
adding shallots to food processor - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Add the chickpeas, shallot, garlic, cilantro, parsley, olive oil, cumin, coriander, salt, and baking powder to a food processor.

Step 5: Pulse The Mixture

blended mixture in food processor
blended mixture in food processor - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Pulse to combine everything into a chunky mixture, being careful not to puree.

Step 6: Form The Patties

hands shaping falafel patties
hands shaping falafel patties - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time and form 12-14 patties. Place each patty on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Step 7: Bake The Falafel

spraying the falafel
spraying the falafel - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Spray the falafel with cooking spray and bake for 12 minutes, then flip and bake 12 more minutes until they look crisp on the outside.

Step 8: Add The Salad Ingredients To A Bowl

salad in glass bowl
salad in glass bowl - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

While the falafel are baking, add the greens, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and olive to a large bowl.

Step 9: Make The Dressing

hand stirring dressing in bowl
hand stirring dressing in bowl - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

In a small bowl combine the tahini, crushed garlic, lemon juice, maple syrup, and 3 tablespoons of water.

Step 10: Toss The Salad With Dressing

hand pouring dressing on salad
hand pouring dressing on salad - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Toss the salad with the dressing.

Step 11: Add Falafel And Serve

hand adding falafel to salad
hand adding falafel to salad - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Top with the cooked falafel and serve.

How Can I Customize This Falafel Salad?

falafel salad in wood bowl
falafel salad in wood bowl - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

To start, you can change up the spices in the falafel to change the flavor profile. One approach is to substitute cumin and coriander with smoked paprika and chipotle powder for a smoky, and spicy twist. For an Indian-inspired variation, swap out cumin and coriander with garam masala, then add a touch of turmeric and ground ginger. To infuse Mediterranean flair, blend in dried oregano, basil, and lemon zest. If have other fresh herbs on hand, you can add some fresh dill or mint, both of which will complement the cilantro and parsley.

For the salad, you can add in a variety of other fresh vegetables to bulk up the nutrition and flavors. Bell peppers, carrots, radishes, snap peas, zucchini, and scallions are all nice additions.

The dressing is another way to customize the salad. A classic vinaigrette, a cilantro lime dressing, a green goddess dressing, or a simple ranch dressing all will be delicious on this falafel salad.

Can I Make The Falafel Salad Ahead Of Time?

white bowl with salad
white bowl with salad - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

You can definitely prepare the components of the salad ahead of time making it a great option for meal prep. For the falafel, you can do this a couple of ways. One way is to make the falafel mixture and form the patties so that they are ready to bake the day you are planning to make the salad. You can make these up to 3 days in advance. The other way to get a jump on this recipe is to make and bake the falafel. Then you can just let them get to room temperature before serving, or warm them up in the oven for a few minutes.

For the salad components, the greens can be prewashed so they are ready to go. It's best to chop the cucumber and tomato no more than 2 hours before serving. The dressing is another component that you can easily make ahead. "Tahini dressings tend to get very thick as they sit in the fridge," Hahn notes. "If you find the dressing is too thick, just add 1-3 tablespoons of water and use a metal whisk to stir until you get your desired consistency."

Baked Falafel Salad With Lemon-Tahini Dressing Recipe

white bowls of salad
white bowls of salad - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 10h 20mCook Time: 24mYield: 4 ServingsIngredients

  • 1 cup uncooked chickpeas

  • ½ cup diced shallot

  • 2 minced garlic cloves

  • 1 cup cilantro

  • 1 cup parsley

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon coriander

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

  • 4 cups mixed greens

  • 1 diced English cucumber

  • ½ cup halved grape tomatoes

  • ¼ cup sliced red onion

  • ¼ cup kalamata olives

  • ¼ cup tahini

  • 1 crushed garlic clove

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions

  1. Put the dry chickpeas in a bowl and cover with plenty of water. Let them soak overnight or for at least 10 hours.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  3. Drain the chickpeas and rinse with fresh water.

  4. Add the chickpeas, shallot, garlic, cilantro, parsley, olive oil, cumin, coriander, salt, and baking powder to a food processor.

  5. Pulse to combine everything into a chunky mixture, being careful not to puree.

  6. Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time and form 12-14 patties. Place each patty on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  7. Spray the falafel with cooking spray and bake for 12 minutes, then flip and bake 12 more minutes until they look crisp on the outside.

  8. While the falafel are baking, add the greens, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and olive to a large bowl.

  9. In a small bowl combine the tahini, crushed garlic, lemon juice, maple syrup, and 3 tablespoons of water.

  10. Toss the salad with the dressing.

  11. Top with the cooked falafel and serve.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.