The other day, I realised just how long it had been since I had made homemade falafel.
I don’t know why it’s been so long – falafel are one of my favourite foods of all time, and I always eat them when I go to cafes or am out and about!
Anyway, as soon as I realised this, I did – of course – have to make some for me and the boys. And I’m so happy that I did!
This Baked Falafel Salad is perfect now that we are (at last) approaching the warmer weather, and heading towards spring. Since I am addicted to Persian food right now, I also served the salad alongside a vegan Mast-o-Khiar, which is effectively a Persian-style cucumber yoghurt.
I made the falafel using the delicious new Ross & Ross Foods Veggie Rubs (I used number three), which added a delicious depth of flavour to the falafel, especially alongside the cumin and addition of fresh parsley and coriander.
Anyway, even though these falafel are gluten-free, oil-free, vegan and baked, they are still light, fluffy and incredibly delicious. Especially with that creamy coconut yoghurt cucumber dip!
Meanwhile, the salad is light yet flavoursome.
It’s full of colours, flavours and textures, with some added crunch from chopped pistachios and sweetness from the beautiful pomegranate arils.
All in all, this is the perfect salad for those lighter, brighter days. Hurrah!
Baked Falafel Salad With Mast-o-Khiar
- Serves 2
- For the falafel –
- One small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 tsp cumin (to taste)
- 1/2-1 tsp Ross & Ross Food Veggie Rub 3 (alternatively, use a pinch of cayenne pepper)
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and patted dry
- 3 tbsp tahini
- Handful fresh coriander, chopped
- Handful fresh parsley, chopped
- Beetroot powder, to colour (optional)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Zest one lemon
- 1-2 tbsp ground almonds
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Sesame seeds, to decorate (optional)
- For the salad –
- 5 large handfuls mixed leaves (I used rocket and spinach)
- 1/2 large cucumber, chopped
- Small handful fresh parsley, chopped
- Small handful fresh mint, chopped
- Few sprigs dill, chopped
- One ripe avocado, pitted and diced
- 100g pomegranate arils
- 4 tbsp pistachios, finely chopped
- For the Mast-o-Khiar –
- 1 cup dairy-free yoghurt (I used coconut yoghurt)
- 1/4 large cucumber, grated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried mint
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Edible rose petals, to garnish (optional)
- Start by making your falafel. Heat some oil in a pan and sauté the onion for a few minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook until lightly golden. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Place the cooled onion and garlic and remaining ingredients for your falafel – apart from the ground almonds – into a high-powered blender and blitz until lump-free and well-combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Tip the falafel mixture into a bowl and stir in your ground almonds, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is no longer sticky and firm enough to handle. Add in more almonds, if needed, then season to taste. Pop onto a lined baking tray and leave to firm in the fridge for an hour.
- In the meantime, make your Mast-o-Khiar. Drain the liquid from the cucumber using a tea towel. Place into a bowl and stir in all remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
- To make the salad, toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Preheat your oven to 200C. Take your falafel mixture and form into small patties (we created eight). Roll in sesame seeds, if using, then place back on the baking tray. Bake in the warmed oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crisp – the insides should still be fluffy!
- Remove cooked falafel from the oven and serve warm or cold alongside the salad and mast-o-khiar yoghurt dip.