Beetroot falafel with tahini dressing

I have a very limited history with beets. As a child, they rarely landed on my dinner plate except, it seems, when we went to my grandmother’s house. Hers must have been either canned or boiled because, after one bite, I declared they were not for me. I grew up thinking I hated them, and I steered clear until I was in my late twenties.

Maybe my taste buds have changed but since then, beets have been a part of my regular rotation during the fall and winter along with most other root vegetables. I juice them, shred them for salads and sometimes roast them to bring out their flavour. Last week, I happened to buy a gigantic bunch of organic red beets, but since I was getting a little tired of adding them to my salads I decided to go another route and throw them in a batch of falafel. Call it an early Valentine’s Day meal if you wish, since red is everywhere this week.

I wish I had snapped a photo of the inside of these babies to show the beautiful specks of deep red throughout, but I didn’t, so you’ll have to trust me on this one. Underneath the crispy exterior, they are beautiful. I promise.

They are also super simple to throw together in your food processor. With these, you have the option to fry them like traditional falafel, or bake them if you wish. Then place them atop a luscious plate of greens and smother them in my favourite homemade tahini dressing.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, Lisa and I put together special treat tins to share this week. We filled them with three kinds of truffles, as well as raw brownies, moonie pies, chocolate chip almond cookies, white chocolate lavender cups and fig and hazelnut bars. I hope those who purchased the tins enjoy our handcrafted chocolate confections as much as we enjoyed creating them.

We will be doing more of these special treat packages for upcoming holidays. If you like what you see, stay tuned for our next special sampler.

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Beetroot falafel with tahini dressing

Yield: about 20 patties

Ingredients:

Falafel:

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 19oz. can)
  • 3/4 cup shredded beets (about 1 large)
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (ground rolled oats)
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1/3 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup tahini

Tahini dressing:

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

For the falafel:

    1. Mince garlic in a food processor. Add the cilantro and parsley and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl.
    2. Add chickpeas to the food processor and pulse to chop finely, but don't puree. Add chickpeas and remaining ingredients to the bowl. Mix everything together thoroughly (using your hands is best). The mixture should hold together when pressed between your hands.
    3. Form into small balls (1 tbsp each) and press together firmly with your palms to form small patties.
    4. You can either fry these lightly in oil or bake them. To fry, heat oil of your choice in a frying pan and cook falafel patties over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, flip over and cook another 4 minutes, or until browned on both sides.
    5. To bake, preheat oven to 350F. Place falafel patties on a baking sheet and brush tops lightly with oil of your choice. Bake for 20 minutes, turning over halfway through. Best served immediately with tahini dressing.

For tahini dressing:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
      

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4 Responses to “Beetroot falafel with tahini dressing”

  1. Emma — February 12, 2013 @ 3:43 pm

    These look delicious- I love that you left them kind of chunky so you can see all the different ingredients. I really like beetroot (as we call them over here in England..) but don’t eat it enough. I tend to like them roasted best. This side dish is a favourite http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-tahini-beets-140777

    P.S The special treats box looks divine as always

    Reply

    • Nicole replied: — February 12th, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

      Thanks, Emma! That tahini beets recipe sounds pretty fabulous too. I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  2. Ruxandra @ Gourmandelle — February 15, 2013 @ 9:14 am

    Love beetroots, such a great recipe!! I can’t wait to try it :)

    Reply

    • Nicole replied: — February 16th, 2013 @ 1:07 pm

      Thanks, Ruxandra! I hope you enjoy it :)

      Reply

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