Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Zucchini Chickpea Falafel

As Jon can attest, I've been experimenting with falafel recipes for quite a while.  Not wanting to deal with deep frying, I use a pan fry or oven bake technique.  I'm not ashamed to admit that my past attempts have been less than amazing.  The last batch was so dry that I had to drown them in hummus and hot sauce.  But no more!  Finally, this twist on falafel is a success, and it's all thanks to zucchini.  If you belong to a CSA, shop at farmer's markets, or can't pass up a sale in the produce section of the grocery store, you might find yourself with some extra zucchini on hand lately.  While I actually like zucchini bread (add enough flour, butter and sugar to anything and it's good), this is something a little different.

Zucchini Chickpea Falafel

1 large zucchini, shredded (about 2 cups)
28 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 4 cups)
1/2 medium red onion, shredded
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup ground flax seed
Handful parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil

In a food processor, use the shredding disc to shred the zucchini and onion.  Transfer to a strainer and allow to drain, pressing with a wooden spoon or spatula to remove excess liquid.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine chickpeas, breadcrumbs, flax seed, egg, parsley, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Pulse until mixed.
Add in zucchini and onion and pulse until combined and mixture sticks together when pressed. 

I baked these at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. I think they would also be good pan fried in a little olive oil.

Served on top of a greek salad, with an unpictured yogurt sauce for dipping.  Plain greek yogurt, finely chopped cucumber, lemon juice, dill and salt and pepper.  And hot sauce, of course.


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