Lebanese Falafel Salad
Created by Kari Ray
Lebanese cuisine finds its origins dating back to pre-Roman rule. Like other foods in this region, it gains its influences from the different civilizations that once held power over the land. In Lebanon it is quite normal to eat mezzes (small dishes) in restaurants or at a gathering or event. Crispy fried falafel, full of herby flavors with a hint of middle eastern spice is a perfect example of the delicious mezzes found around Lebanon.
For the Falafel
- 2 cups dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 1 small bunch cilantro (coriander)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2-4 tablespoons flour (can use chickpea flour to keep it gluten free)
For the Tahini Dressing
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons ice-cold water, more as needed
For the Salad
- Red onion
- Feta cheese
1. Place the chickpeas into a large bowl. Cover them with plenty of cold water (they will double in size). Let them soak overnight.
2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
3. In a food processor, add the chickpeas, onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, salt, cumin, ground coriander, paprika, cardamom, cayenne pepper and black pepper. (If you have a smaller food processor, divide the ingredients in half and process the mixture in batches.)
4. Pulse all ingredients together to form a course meal. Scrape the sides of the processor and continue to process until the texture is a course paste. (Make sure not to over-process the mixture.)
5. Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl and stir in enough flour until the mixture holds its shape when pressed into a
6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2
7. Heat about 1 ½ inches of vegetable oil in a deep, medium frying pan until it reaches about 375°F (190°C).
8. Meanwhile, form 2 tablespoons of falafel mixture into round balls using wet hands or a falafel scoop.
9. Carefully place four to five balls at a time in the hot oil. Fry on each side until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes total.
10. Remove the falafel from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
To make the dressing:
1. In a small bowl or jar, combine the olive oil,
tahini, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt, and black pepper. Whisk until thoroughly blended.
2. Whisk in the cold water. Taste, and add more lemon juice or salt and pepper as desired.
Create a beautiful salad with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and crumbled feta. Add falafel to the top and drizzle with the dressing.