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baked falafel crumbles + falafel salad

Ingredients

soaking the beans the night before

  • 1 1/2 cups dry chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 8 cups room temperature water

baking the falafel crumbles

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • soaked chickpeas (above)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baharat**
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or add more/less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • serving suggestions (see notes)

Instructions

  1. Soak the chickpeas: Cover chickpeas and baking soda with room temperature water. Stir until the baking soda dissolves.
  2. Cover and keep at room temperature for at least 16 hours (get them in water before you go to bed, wake up, go to work, come home and cook dinner).
  3. Bake the falafel crumbles: Preheat the oven to 450° F convection.***
  4. Finely mince the garlic in a large food processor. Add the cilantro and green onions to the food processor and pulse a couple times to chop them up a little.
  5. Strain the chickpeas over the sink. Add the drained, raw chickpeas to greens in the food processor, and process them until the mixture is finely minced. You’ll still see little minced grains of chickpeas (it’s not supposed to be a smooth purée), but there should not be any large pieces. It should resemble fine couscous.
  6. Add the baharat, water, sesame seeds, salt, and flour, and stir to combine.
  7. Coat the bottom of a sheet pan**** with 1 tablespoon of oil. Spoon the falafel mixture evenly over the sheet pan (sprinkle the mixture without smearing it around and disturbing the oil layer). Don’t pack it down, but leave it kind of fluffy.
  8. Once it’s spread out, very evenly drizzle the falafel mix with about 3 more tablespoons of oil.
  9. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until a couple spots are turning brown and everything’s turning a bit golden (see the second photo in the series below the GIF).
  10. Use a spatula to flip sections of the falafel, without breaking the whole thing up completely. Just take a spatula-sized section and flip it, and repeat with the remaining sections (see the third photo). Don’t sweat it if some of them fall apart a bit. Put this back in the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes, until there are a lot of brown bits around the edges, and everything is somewhat golden brown.
  11. To test whether it’s done, take a bite from one of the paler sections. If it still tastes a bit raw, sprinkle everything evenly with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, cover the pan with foil, and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes (you probably won’t need to do this).
  12. Once they’re done, break the crumbles up into large chunks with a spatula.

Notes

* The estimated time for this recipe is just for the falafel crumbles themselves. The quick salad at the end of the recipe is optional, but super easy and just takes about 10 more minutes of prep time. Enjoy your crumbles however you’d like—in a sandwich, with some fattoush, sprinkled over fried eggs, piled in the center of a plate of hummus… the possibilities are endless!

** If you don’t have any baharat and don’t feel like making a complicated spice blend, feel free to use a combination of cumin, coriander, paprika, and black pepper.

*** If you don’t have a convection oven, it might just take a couple more minutes to bake.

**** If you don’t have a standard 18×13 inch half-sheet pan, the falafel layer will be too thin and will get crunchy too quickly. If you’re using a larger pan, simply don’t spread everything out all the way to the edges. If you only have smaller sheet pans, feel free to use 2 quarter-sheet pans if that’s what you have. If you’re cutting the recipe in half, be careful that the layer of chickpeas is not too thin (use a smaller sheet pan).

serving suggestion
romaine hearts
radishes
tomatoes
cucumbers
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 very small clove garlic, crushed with a garlic press
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Wash, dry, and chop the romaine, radishes, tomatoes, and cucumbers into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Combine the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, water, and salt, and whisk together until it smooths out into a creamy dressing.
  3. Serve everything together in a salad with the falafel crumbles, and dress to taste (leftover dressing will keep in the fridge for weeks).