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Falafel

June 20, 2011

Saturday morning I found myself at the Ferry Building. I had two things in mind: Seabeans and Mushrooms, from Far West Fungi. So, as I dodged the strollers and wove my determined limbs through the large crowds of people, I secured my place in line at Far West.

One very nice oyster from San Francisco Fish company was had by me, as was a melange of other things, including some Blueberry lemonade, a juicy peach and an unforgettable Sesame-praline Chocolate marshmallow (yes there is such a thing) courtesy of Tell-Tale Preserve.

And then there was the falafel bite, for a dollar, from some a Middle Eastern vendor in the back of the building (you know across from Sonoma egg people) whose name I didn’t catch. There were hoards of people furiously sampling various spreads, dips and flat breads, but the tiny bites of falafel caught my eye.

At this point I realized what was missing (from my life). Falafel. Falafel just makes sense to me and I enjoy it. I like it with hummus, with tabouli and with the roasted eggplant from Fadi’s. I even like it rolled up in my Shawarma. Needless to say, I like falafel. When I got back home I pulled a simple recipe from the web and decided to make a batch. I haven’t stopped eating these since (well sort of). Like coffee granita, I had completely forgotten how easy this is to make. Emphasis on had. 

Enjoy!

Falafel with walnuts, spicy herb yogurt, pea shoots and pickles.

Ingredients:

1 can chick peas

1 onion- diced

2 cloves garlic

2 tsp. coriander

2 tsp. paprika

handful of parsley, some mint, basil

2 tbsp. rice flour

salt and pepper

*Not quite like that stuff from the box (the one where you add water and oil to mix), this is fresher, moister and actually better. In my humble opinion.

Open can of chickpeas and drain and rinse them. Put them in a pot, cover them with water and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Then reduce heat, add the spices and simmer on low, for an hour or so until the beans are very soft.

When cool, mash the beans, some lumps are o.k. Add the onion, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and rice flour. Combine with your hands. The mixture should be slightly moist. You may need to add a touch of water to achieve a thick paste like consistency.

Shape into patties and let rest. When ready to serve, heat some oil in a pan and cook them on each side several minutes until golden and slightly crisp on outside. The inside will remain soft and delicious.

Serve with your favorite condiments… I gussied up some greek yogurt with a few generous shots of Red rooster chile sauce, red onion, lemon juice, tarragon, mint, salt and pepper. Pickles, walnuts and peashoots completed the meal. Sounds like a strange combination but it was unsurprisingly good.

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