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3.3.17

Oven-Baked Falafel with Garden Radish, Cucumber, and Pea Shoots

From Feeding a Family: A Real-Life Plan for Making Dinner Work, © 2016 by Sarah Waldman.

My sister Anna made us a version of these falafel rounds almost ten years ago. I immediately quizzed her on the recipe and have been serving it ever since. Our favorite method is to fill toasted pita pockets with falafel balls, then stuff in favorite crunchy vegetables, such as carrots, sprouts, radishes, cucumbers, or pea shoots. Here, I have included a simple yogurt sauce, but spreading the pitas with hummus works fine, too.

Kids Can: Little helpers can measure and blend the falafel ingredients and scoop and flatten the falafel balls.

Makes 15 small balls (you can double the recipe for 30 falafel bites)

Falafel

  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons whole-wheat all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3-inch piece cucumber, grated
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving

  • 4 pita pockets or lavash, warmed in the oven
  • Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Radishes, thinly sliced
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Pea shoots, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To make the falafel, simply whiz all the ingredients (leaving out 1 tablespoon of the olive oil) in a food processor until mostly smooth (with a few remaining chunks).

2. Grease a baking sheet with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Using a tablespoon measure, place heaping scoops of the falafel mixture on the baking sheet, then flatten them with the back of the spoon. Bake the falafel rounds for 10 minutes, flip them, and then bake for another 10 minutes, until edges are crisp and tops are golden.

3. While the falafel bakes, mix together all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl.

4. Serve the baked falafel with warm pita pockets or lavash, cucumber sauce, sliced vegetables, and pea shoots.

For Baby: For older babies, smash a falafel ball inside a small wedge of pita bread and top with cucumber sauce. Younger babies will enjoy small pieces of falafel and thin slices of peeled cucumber.

This recipe was originally published with the story Mother's Helper.