I miss falafel. I used to get fresh falafel pitas at a great Mediterranean cafe. The owner was half Syrian and half Italian and he made the most amazing food. When you broke open his falafel they were green on the inside, which was slightly alarming at first because I was used to the boxed stuff. But it tasted so good - not dry, and the tahini sauce that was served over top was terrific. Boxed falafel didn't hold a candle to what Omar made. As far as I knew, falafel was made with bulgar wheat and so I wrote it off on a gluten free diet. But then I stumbled upon a sweet potato falafel recipe here a couple of weeks ago - it looked so pretty and there was no gluten in sight. I've been drooling for falafel ever since.
So I started searching for other falafel recipes (sweet potato and otherwise) and decided sweet potato falafel might be good with quinoa instead of bulgar and served with tahini sauce. I took cues from several different recipes and came up with this (and then I deviated from my own recipe, but hey, it happens). And I must say, these falafel are pretty good! Not exactly like the falafel Omar makes, but still amazing in its own right. I served these with Cumin and Coriander Crusted Pork Chops and sauteed summer squash tonight for dinner. Tomorrow I am looking forward to making sandwich wraps and tucking these babies inside, nestled in baby greens and drizzled with tahini sauce. Yum.
Sweet Potato Falafel
1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed
1/2 cup hummus*
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 cup cooked quinoa**
1 tbsp. parsely
1 tbsp. tahini
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
potato flour for thickening, as needed
Preheat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat .
Combine the sweet potato through the cayenne. Adjust seasonings to taste. If needed, thicken the mixture with a little potato flour. Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls into the skillet and flatten slightly. Leave plenty of room between the falafel so you can flip them easily. Cook a few minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Serve warm with tahini sauce. Makes about 12 falafel.
*You can also use 1 can mashed chickpeas. This will make the falafel thicker and easier to form into patties (make sure you flatten them so they won't be mushy in the middle - and you want a nice crisp crust on the outside). Add 1 small clove minced garlic and an extra tablespoon of lemon juice to the mixture if using chickpeas.
**Quinoa keeps the falafel from being too mushy and gives it a pleasing texture. If you don't have quinoa handy, thicken mixture with potato flour or chickpea flour (or maybe even gluten free breadcrumbs) instead.
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 minced clove garlic
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. water
Stir together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, parsley and salt. Add the olive oil and stir to blend. Add the water and stir until creamy.