Falafel with Tahini Yogurt Sauce + Sacco

Today is the last day at home before we go off on a rollicking adventure through the Amazon Jungle, complete with piranhas, venomous snakes, and whatever else is down there.  Who knows, maybe I’ll get malaria, and have to be airlifted back to the United States, very close to death, only to be revived at the last possible moment.  It would make a good story, that.  Sadly, we aren’t going to the Amazon Jungle, we are going to southern Maine.

During the last few weeks, our plans have changed over and over again.  First, we were going to go to Ohio, to visit my mom’s friends and Oberlin College, where my mom went to school.  Then, my mom decided to go to her 25th reunion in May, and figured it wouldn’t be worth it to do the painfully long drive twice in one month.  I agree, wholeheartedly.  We were then going to go to Boston, and look at colleges along the way.  But then my mom didn’t want to drive around Boston, and we decided to visit Rhode Island instead.  Please note: we have no connection in any way to Rhode Island.  Yet for a few hours, it seemed as though we would be there for a few days later this week.  Finally, my aunt, uncle, and grandparents figured out a way for us to stay with them, while looking at some colleges in Maine.  We’re settled on that.

As to the falafel, I found the recipe in Living Without, and made very few changes, if really any.  My dad was quite disappointed when I told him over the phone what we’d be having last night–he loves falafel, and has been angling for me to make gluten-free falafel for a while now.  We wrapped the falafel with yogurt sauce in sacco, a flat bread.  Or at least, that is what it is considered to be.  To me it was more like a crepe, made of chickpea flour and water.  Sacco is, I guess, eaten in Northern Italy and France, but it went very well with falafel, as both are made with chickpeas.  Because we were eating the sacco with the falafel, I ditched the rosemary called for in the recipe and threw in some chopped chives instead.  They were surprisingly pliable, and didn’t have the beany taste I expected, so overall I was quite pleased.

Gluten-free Falafel
Makes 12 (I doubled, they are small)
Adapted from Living Without, December/January 2012

Two 16-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Large onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons minced garlic (about three cloves)
3-4 Tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot (I used cornstarch)
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel ( I didn’t use quite this much, and they were still very good)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1.  Put all ingredients in a food-processor and run until fairly smooth.  You will probably have to run it a few times, scraping down the sides in between.

2.  On a baking sheet, place parchment paper.  Form the mixture into balls, the size of a rounded tablespoon, or pingpong ball.  Press down slightly.  In my case, I was out of parchment paper, and so put the falafel on well-oiled aluminum foil.  This didn’t work quite as well as I hoped, so parchment paper is still the best route.  But, I think putting some olive oil on the parchment paper first, though not necessary, is a good idea.  Living Without suggests just drizzling the falafel with oil, but I think greasing the paper would help with crispiness too.

3.  Set oven to broil, and place pan directly under the broiler.  Let cook for 2-3 minutes, then turn and cook a minute or two more, with the oven open so you can watch and see if they are burning.  For me, this took a little longer, and I flipped the falafel a few times so that they would be crisp enough for me.

4.  Serve with tahini yogurt sauce.

Tahini Yogurt Sauce
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces greeks yogurt or sour cream
2 Tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
Juice of one small lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 Tablespoons water
Salt and pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients and mix well to blend.

Adapted from Living Without, December/January 2012
Makes 6

1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 Tablespoon of which is for pan
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives, or 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (or whatever you prefer)
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon minced dried onion (I didn’t add)

Mix all ingredients, except for the 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil, and let sit for half and hour so that the mixture is nice and thick.

Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet (or a cast iron skillet, which is what I used) over low heat.  Add 1/2 cup of the batter and swirl it around the pan so it is fairly thin.  Wait until bubbles appear all over the top of the bread, then flip to the other side, and cook until brown and crispy.  Add more oil as necessary to do remaining pieces.




This entry was posted in Appetizers, Archives, Dinner and tagged , by Madeleine C.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Madeleine C.

Hi I'm Madeleine and I am an avid cook and baker! Between school, homework swimming, and everything else in my life, I really enjoy cooking! I am 15 (now 16) years old, and have two brothers, both of whom have celiac disease along with my father. For this reason, I often make gluten-free things that will satisfy them as well as those who can readily consume gluten. I enjoy making the complex and the simple, and enjoy a challenge while cooking. That's just about it!