Dinners/ Lunch/ Vegetables

Spinach Falafels with Roasted Eggplant Dip

Falafel? Falafels? Falafeli?

Oh. According to word hippo, the plural form of “falafel” is “falafels.”

I tell ya, I learn something new every day.

 The last time I had falafels (before making this recipe) was back in January when Brig and I went to San Francisco for a weekend and spent some time with Brig’s brother & his wife in the bay area. We went to Ferry Plaza Farmers Market there and it is the biggest, grandest, most beautiful market I have ever seen! My goodness. I wish I could go every single week. I was in food heaven. My lunch of choice that day happened to be a fresh box of falafels and lemon hummus. Glory be, that stuff was good! I knew that I wanted to make some of my own…it just took me several months to get around to it.

Ya wanna know something? These falafels are even better than the wonderful farmers market falafels. They’re so crispy on the outside and so moist on the inside and it’s just so perfect I can’t even stand it. Although the flavor packs a punch, these little things have a very delicate texture.  They’re not the kind of falafels that could hold their own in a bar fight. So just remember that they’re delicate little patties of happiness, handle with care, and eat with a fork.

On another note, there’s, like, 567 servings of vegetables in here. HELLO. What more can I say?

 The parsley and spinach create this BEAUTIFUL, vibrant, kelly green color that is just so enticing, don’t you think? The green was a bit off-putting for Brig, but he loved them!

Win.

 And now! Onto the roasted eggplant dip. I know, I know, it’s brown and unappealing.

Just think of it as…a falafel frosting. Kind of. Bad comparison, maybe?

The eggplant has a subtle sweetness that really complements the strong flavor of the falafels. With parsley, garlic, onion, cumin, and more…those falafel really pack one heck of a punch.

GOSH THESE ARE JUST SOOO GOOD YOU GUYS.

Sorry for that random outburst. It just had to be done.

The dip is totally optional, because the falafel are absolutely WONDERFUL on their own (or in a salad! or with rice! or potatoes! all the options!!) but I love having the dip as a little side companion for extra happiness & lovin’.
 Ingredients: 

1 c fresh spinach, tightly packed

1 c fresh parsley leaves, tightly packed

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 c onion, diced

3 t minced garlic, or 5-6 cloves

1 t salt

1 t cumin

1/2 t sugar

1/4 c flour

1 t baking powder

juice of half a lemon

1/4 c canola oil, for frying

For the Roasted Eggplant Dip: 

1 large eggplant, peeled & diced into 1 inch chunks

1/2 c onion, diced

3 T canola oil

1/2 t minced garlic, or 1 clove

3 T tahini

s & p to taste

Instructions: 

In a food processor, combine all of the falafel ingredients, except for the canola oil. Pulse until you reach a pesto consistency, stopping to scrape down the sides every once in awhile. Refrigerate mixture for one hour. Clean your food processor! Cause you’ll need it again 🙂

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400. On a large sheet pan, combine the eggplant and onion. Toss in oil and a good dash of salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or so, until golden brown, crispy, and charred to your personal preference. Back to the food processor! Combine the roasted vegetables, garlic, and tahini. Pulse until you reach a pesto-like consistency, and taste test for salting and peppering needs. {I didn’t include measurements for the s & p because, if we’re being honest, I didn’t measure the salt and pepper. It happens.}

Pulse again, as long as you’d like, to get the texture you want for your dip. Set aside.

Back to the falafel. In a large skillet, heat the oil to medium-high heat. Scoop the falafel mixture into an ice cream scoop and place on the skillet. Immediately flatten with a spatula and let cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side, then 1-2 on the second side. Add a little oil in between frying falafels if you start to run out. Repeat until out of mixture. Drain each falafel on a paper towel, and serve immediately!

note: we’re not trying to deep fry the falafel here, so only use as little oil as needed. Depending on the size of the skillet that you use, you may need a little more or a little less oil than what is called for.

xo, Lucia

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    heather (delicious not gorgeous)
    April 9, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    baba ghanoush always looks a little funky (: but it tastes so good that i don’t mind at all! and if everyone else is turned off from it, then more for me anyways, haha. love the sound of spinach in falafels!

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