Baked Falafel Sliders with Yogurt Tahini Sauce…..

I now completely understand why these luscious cakes are fried.  Most often, I’ve had them fried until very dark brown.  I can only asssume that after working with my falafel mixture, it is needed to keep its shape.  That being said, I had to take an extra step in my preparation.  I found that when I only baked them, as I would most of my “oven fried” recipes, they were very soft and would not keep their shape very well.  I baked, allowed them to cool, then I pan fried them in a little olive oil.  This had a more favorable result.    Lightly crispy on the outside and tender and flavorful on the inside.  I loved them!

Here we go…

I used my food processor to blend the canned chick peas.  I’ve read recipes where you’re instructed to mash them with a spoon, seems difficult to me.   After you’ve processed the chick peas, add the rest of the falafel ingredients.  Process until well blended.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Non stick foil line a cookie sheet.  Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil over the sheet and spread with your hand to coat the whole sheet.  Preheat the oven to 375′.

For uniform cakes, I use a large ice cream or a cookie scoop. 

Scoop into your hand and shape into a small patty. 

Carefully dredge in bread crumbs.

Place on prepared cookie sheet.

Drizzle the tops with a small amount of olive oil.  (you can see that I made a huge recipe here, this recipe only makes 8)  Bake for 30 minutes.  Allow the cakes to cool for easier handeling.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.  Once the oil is very hot, add the cakes, be careful not to crowd, and brown on both sides. (3-4 minutes per side)  Serve inside a quartered pita bread with fresh cucumber, thinly sliced sweet onion, and tahini sauce.  Serve with a yummy tabbouleh salad.  Healthy and soooooo delicious!

Yogurt Tahini Sauce

½ cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons yogurt
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup water


1 can chick peas, drained
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large cloves fresh garlic, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon baking power
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs.
Olive oil for frying and to coat the cookie sheet

Pita bread, cut into quarters
1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

1)  Whisk all yogurt tahini sauce ingredients together until well blended.  Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
2)  Place the chick peas into the food processor and process until smooth.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until well blended.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.
3)  Preheat oven to 375′.  Non stick foil line a cookie sheet and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, spread over sheet to coat.
4)  Scoop out the dough using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop.  Carefully shape into a small patty and coat with bread crumbs.  Place on the cookie sheet.  Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.
5)  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
6)  Heat skillet over medium heat, add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, about 2 tablespoons.  When very hot, fry each falafel until nicely browned.  Allow to drain on a paper towel lined plate.  Serve with pita bread, tahini sauce, fresh sliced sweet onion, and fresh cucumber.  Makes 8 falafel.  Serves 4.

*for an interesting appetizer, use a small cookie scoop and make them bite size.  Serve with the yogurt tahini sauce for dipping.

Roasted Garlic & Cannelli Bean Hummus….

This is the perfect appetizer.  So easy, elegant, and quick.  Make ahead and serve right when your guests arrive.   Keep several varieties of canned beans on hand, they are so versatile and you can whip up this excellent hummus in a snap.  I especially love the cannelli beans (aka white kidney beans) because they are so creamy when you process them, no need for tahini, they are great with the few true ingredients in this recipe. I made the toasted baguette myself,  it’s much more economical than those bags of pita chips or bagel chips.   Hummus keeps for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.  Also delicious on sandwiches or as a dip on a vegetable tray.  Good fiber and all healthy.  As always, real ingredients. 

Roasted Garlic Hummus with Cannelli Beans

½ cup olive oil (don’t worry; this isn’t all going into recipe! Use later for cooking or in salad dressing, sooooo good!)
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and halved
2 tablespoons lemon juice, bottled or fresh
2 cans cannelli beans, drained but reserve liquid
½ teaspoon smoked paprika + an extra pinch for garnish
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

1) In a very small sauce pan, add olive oil and fresh garlic. Cook on lowest setting of stove top until garlic is just soft and slightly brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
2) Into food processor, add about 2 tablespoons of the reserved garlic olive oil, lemon juice, roasted garlic cloves, cannelli beans, half of the reserved liquid from the beans, paprika, salt and pepper. Process until smooth; add more of the reserved bean liquid if necessary. Taste, add more salt and pepper if necessary.
3) When ready to serve, pour into a pretty serving dish. Drizzle some of the reserved garlic olive oil over hummus. For garnish sprinkle a pinch of smoked paprika over the top and finally, the chopped parsley. Beautiful! Serve with pita chips, warm pita bread, or your own toasted baguette.

Bean Salad with Fresh Herbs….

This is an outstanding salad to serve at barbeques and picnics!  Easy to prepare, fresh, and not full of mayonnaise.  It literally goes together in a matter of minutes.  The many different beans used make for a colorful and healthy salad.  Use fresh herbs out of your garden.

No fresh herbs?  You can add dried parsley, basil, and fresh red onion.

Bean Salad with Fresh Herbs
1 15 oz. can each:
Black beans
Great northern beans
Dark red kidney beans
Light red kidney beans
White kidney beans or Cannelli beans
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, rolled tight and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder
¼ teaspoon granulated onion powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or a couple of pinches of table salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or cider vinegar

1) Drain all canned beans into a large colander and rinse. Drain thoroughly. Add parsley, basil, and chives.
2) Drizzle with olive oil and gently mix until beans are coated. Sprinkle beans with garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix gently. Add vinegar and gently mix. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Makes about 10 one half cup servings.

**The reason for adding the oil first and coating, is that it will make the seasonings all cling to the ingredients in the salad before adding vinegar.