Light, nourishing bites with a mushroom and smokey paprika umami hit. Creamy lemon tahini sauce. Crunchy iceberg lettuce and spicy radishes. Fresh enough for those still in holiday recovery mode, rich enough to satiate a craving for a proper meal, fast.
Perfect simple summer eating if I do say so myself.
But other than knowing the end result — me eating mushroom falafel — there was very little other planning going on.
There’s been swimming and beaching, brunching and lunching, and a bit of work scattered here and there, but definitely nothing so forward thinking as soaking dry chickpeas 24 hours before they are needed.
This recipe needed to be quick and easy. Just a few quick pulses of whole ingredients tarted up with a bit of seasoning. And a disappearing act into an oven for just long enough to assemble crunchy, creamy and spicy accompaniments.
In the words of one of my favourite childhood shows, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
The umami richness of mushrooms add another dimension to these falafel and helps to keep them light. The leftovers are just as good straight from the fridge so making more than you need is highly recommended.
While you can go traditional and use chickpeas that have been soaked for a day (and either cooked or not) I’ve found canned ones do quite well — just make sure to dry them well as to not add any more moisture. Feel free to play around with the herbs, perhaps swapping out some of the parsley for mint or coriander, or even using exotic mushrooms.
Makes 26 falafel, serves 4 – 6
- 1 c parsley leaves and stems, packed (50g)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 spring onions, white and light green section only
- 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained well (see note)
- 1 tsp each dried oregano, cumin & flaky sea salt
- ½ tsp each cracked black pepper & smoked paprika
- 300g field or button mushrooms, stems trimmed
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp buckwheat flour (see note)
- flatbreads or quinoa tortillas, tomatoes, pickles, radishes, lettuce, Lemon Tahini Sauce (recipe later this week), lemon wedges
This recipe is made in a food processor, if you don’t have one you can still make them — provided your chopping arm is up to it. Refer to note below.
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Line two trays with baking paper.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse parsley, garlic and spring onions until chopped. Add chickpeas and spices (oregano through paprika) and pulse until chickpeas are broken down to a rough paste — not to smooth, not too coarse. Scrape mixture into a large bowl.
Add mushrooms to the processor (no need to wash it) and pulse a few times until mushrooms are finely chopped. Tip mushrooms into the bowl with chickpea mixture, add oil, sesame seeds and flour. Mix everything together using a large spoon or your hands.
Roll golfball sized scoops of the mixture into flying saucer shapes (slightly flat balls) and place on lined baking sheet. Drizzle or spray with extra olive oil and bake for approximately 25 minutes until golden and firm.
Serve warm or at room temperature with flatbreads, salads and Lemon Tahini Sauce.
- Chickpeas: you can replace the canned chickpeas with 3 c (500g) soaked, or soaked and cooked, chickpeas.
- Flour: buckwheat flour can be replaced with quinoa flour, whole spelt or wholewheat flour.
- Prep: if you don’t have a food processor you can chop the garlic, onion, parsley and mushrooms very, very finely by hand. Then mash the chickpeas with a potato masher or a fork until no large lumps remain but mixture isn’t yet a puree.
vegetarian // vegan // gluten-free // dairy-free // soy-free // nut-free