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Baked basil-chard falafel

Posted Jun 11 2012 9:02am
This week's Food Matters Project recipe is chickpea fritters with vegetables. See the original recipe hosted by Lena  and check out what others made here . Instead of frying chickpeas into fritters, I decided to make a baked falafel.
When I decided on falafel, I immediately remembered  this  recipe that I had bookmarked last summer. These baked green falafel look much better than their popular fried brown cousins. Don't get me wrong I love fried falafel too, but these are much lighter, healthier, and perfect for summer. I added chard, basil, parsley, and pistachio not only for flavor, but also to add that green tint to my falafel (not to mention that's what I had in the fridge).
Make these for that next potluck and impress your friends. Gluten free and dairy free, you'll make everyone happy.

Baked basil-chard falafel
Adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook & Green Kitchen Stories
2 c chickpeas, soaked overnight (not cooked)
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ginger, ground
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 swiss chard leaf
1 small bunch of basil, about a cup loosely packed
1/4 c parsley
2 tbsp pistachios
1 tbsp lime juice

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the chickpeas into the food processor. Process until they break up and form a chunky paste. Add the remaining ingredients and process for about a minute. The mixture should be dry, not wet. If it's too wet, add more chickpeas, chickpea flour, or pistachios. Scoop up the mixture with a spoon, rolling into a ball about an inch wide (or smaller, if you want more). Repeat with the remaining chickpea mixture. Put on the baking sheet.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. The bottoms of the falafel should be nice and golden.

Makes about 14-1inch round falafels or more if you make them smaller. Serve with tahini-yogurt  or a raita  for a nice dipping in sauce. Toss a few falafel into a pita (or into a lettuce leaf for a gluten free option) with veggies and dip for a quick, healthy lunch on-the-go.
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