Vegan Mediterranean Plate: Falafel Hummus and Greek Salad
Posted Nov 03 2011 12:33pm
The mediterranean plate is one of my favorite meals. In fact, I have a tendency to make a ton of falafel and freeze them so they're just ready to go.
Because it's not only filling, it is bursting with flavor and texture. And both are very important, in my opinion.
I also really like food I can eat with my hands. And food that makes me think.
I like having choices. Do I eat my falafel by itself? With hummus? Stuffed in a pita with salad? Salad first? Salad in the pita and hummus on the falafel? The possibilities are endless.
That makes it fun. Fun for you. Fun for the kids. Fun for the big kids.
Yield: about enough for a family of four. Maybe some leftovers
For the Falafel:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 sweet white onion, chopped fine
1 Tablespoon roasted garlic (you can use plain garlic too, it's just stronger)
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/3 teaspoon salt
Splash of pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 cup plus about 1/4 cup panko breading
For the Hummus:
1 can large white beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon tahini
Juice of 1 large lemon
Zest of same lemon
About 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, smashed and diced very fine
about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. Maybe a bit more
For the Greek Salad:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
About 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, chopped very fine
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 english cucumber, quartered and chopped into about 1/4 inch pieces
1 carton cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 green bell pepper, de-seeded, quartered and cut into about 1/4 inch pieces
1 small red onion, peeled, quartered and cut into about 1/4 inch pieces
1 head (or bag) butter lettuce or other lettuce mix
About 1/2 cup kalamata olives, drained and halved
Vegan pita bread (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.
Prepare your falafel by combining chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper in food processor. Pulse to combine.
Put your mix into a bowl and add 1/4 cup of the panko breading and flour then mix to combine.
Form into about 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls then gently roll in panko. Place on baking sheet. Repeat for all falafel dough.
When your falafel is all formed, bake in oven for 8-10 minutes then rotate and bake another 5-8 minutes. Rotate again, bake and repeat until all sides of your falafel balls are toasty brown. Note: you can fry or pan fry your falafel balls too, I just like to bake when at all possible.
While your falafel is baking, prepare your hummus and salad.
For your hummus, combine white beans, tahini, lemon juice, zest, oregano, parsley salt and pepper in food processor. Put lid on and pulse to combine. While you are pulsing, gradually stream olive oil into food processor, creating a mostly smooth texture.
Taste your hummus, add salt and pepper as needed, pulse/blend again then transfer to a bowl when you have reached your desired flavor.
Prepare your salad by first making your dressing. In a lidded jar, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Seal and shake very well. Let sit.
In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, tomato, bell pepper and onion. Put your lettuce in another larger bowl. Just before service, shake your dressing again then drizzle on top of lettuce and vegetables individually. Toss to ensure even coverage.
Note: I like to toss them separately so when you plate, everyone is ensured an equal amount of everything.
On a plate, arrange falafel, a dollop of hummus and vegan pita, if you want it. To arrange your salad, start by portioning lettuce onto the plate(s). Top lettuce with piles of dressing tossed veggies. Finish with kalamata olives.