Falafel

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I got the idea for making homemade falafel from this excellent blog, which was also the source for the garlic scape and basil pesto recipe. I had never made falafel from scratch, either, and it's been years since I've made it at all. I wonder why? I love a good falafel.

1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup red onion
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper

Here is most of the mise en place.

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Combine the ingredients in the food processor.

Form into patties. I used 1.5 oz. per patty, formed in a 2 1/4" cookie cutter. Here's the trick I used: Put that little bowl on the scale and spoon filling to get 1.5 oz.. Then take the filling in your hand and squish it into a ball, then push it into the cookie cutter and flatten it out. Pop it out of the cutter and flip it upside down onto the sheet pan.

Or you could just take a handful of it and form it into a ball or slightly flattened ball. I've seen it that way too.

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Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a sheet pan with olive oil. Place the formed patties on the sheet pan. You should get 7.

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Funny thing: I was going to cook them in the deep fryer because I thought it would be faster. I've also made them in a sauté pan, but this can be difficult because sometimes they fall apart. In any case, the deep fryer was a complete failure. Because the patties were not very well bonded to themselves and are high in water content, as they bounce around in the hot oil they keep shedding off the outside layer and getting smaller and smaller! After 1 minute, I had something the size of a couple quarters that was still raw. Oops! That's where the 7th patty went.

Here they are out of the oven:

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This didn't quite turn out as well as I had hoped. I don't think I added enough oil and they were quite dry. When I reheated them I did it in a sauté pan with olive oil, which did a nice job of moistening them, but they still didn't have enough structural stability. The flavor was great, though.

I think I need to blend it more. Some recipes add a little flour. That might help.

I also made Andrea's yogurt dill sauce, though I made a half recipe, and that was delicious.

I also made a batch of homemade whole wheat pita bread (new recipe) that was delicious! Once you have these delicious homemade whole wheat pita you won't the plain store-bought ones anymore!

Serve over the falafel in a pita with lettuce, red onion and cucumber. The original recipe called for tomato but I omitted it.

The falafel patties themselves are vegan and gluten-free. There is dairy in the yogurt sauce (obviously) and in the pita, and of course the whole wheat pita has wheat gluten.