I love salads, but I will admit, sometimes I’m left wanting more substance to my meal. Which is why I am head-over-heals for this hearty Falafel Salad! This salad combines the best of both worlds: heaps of vegetables, piles of healthy Mediterranean flavours, and perfectly cooked crunchy falafels that are so satisfying! It’s a great recipe for the month of January when we are all trying to eat cleaner but are still craving something cozy.
As a busy mom, I don’t always have the time to make a complicated meal when I get home. I will therefore often use a pre-packaged falafel mix as it is SO easy and takes one less step out of this recipe. Of course I’ve given you the option to make your own! I love that the Nature’s Fare Markets falafel mix has such wholesome ingredients in it and is BC made, which makes me feel good about using this as a shortcut when I need it. I buy most of my groceries at Nature’s Fare – if you’re lucky enough to live in the Okanagan go check them out! They are opening soon in White Rock as well.
Falafels are typically made with dried chickpeas, but it is a bit of a process that I’m not always up for. I created a version that uses canned chickpeas and a mini food processor which makes putting these together super quick! Either way, you’ll be a hero when you make this. Don’t let the length of the recipe intimidate you. If you’re pressed for time I encourage you to go for the pre-made tzatziki out of the deli and the packaged falafel mix to save time. There’s zero shame in that!
Warning: this is NOT a first date type of recipe. Unless you both LOVE loads of garlic and everything that comes with it, in case disregard my warning!
For the Salad
- 1 -284g box Falafel mix (I used Casbah brand) OR 1 recipe for Quick Falafels below
- vegetable oil for frying the falafels
- 4 c. loosely packed green leaf lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 c. halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 c. diced long English cucumber (1/2 cucumber)
- ¾ c. chopped curly parsley
- ¼ c. thinly sliced red onion
- extra virgin olive oil to drizzle (optional)
- 2 whole wheat pitas (optional)
- Dill Tzatziki & Lemon Garlic Tahini Dressing (recipes below)
- Prepare the Dill Tzatziki and the Lemon Garlic Tahini Dressing as per below.
- Mix the falafel mix according to the manufacturers directions or follow the directions below for Quick Falafels and set aside (they typically need to sit for at least 10 minutes before cooking for the packaged ones)
- In a large bowl or platter, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and red onion.
- Prepare the falafels, in 1Tbsp. portions, as per the directions. Cook in batches and set on a platter lined with paper towel until they are all cooked.
- If you wish to add pita chips, preheat the oven to broil, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and brush each of the pitas with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake the pitas for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown, remove from the oven and set aside.
- To assemble the salad, place the cooked falafels on top of the prepared salad and drizzle with the Lemon Garlic Tahini Dressing and a dollop of the Dill Tzatziki on each serving. Serve with the pita chips if you desire. You may drizzle a bit of extra olive oil on top of the salad which is a nice touch!
- 540ml (19 oz. or about 2 c.) can chickpeas, drained and dried with a towel
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 ½ tsp. ground coriander
- 1 ½ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ c. curly parsley
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- vegetable oil for frying (canola, sunflower or other neutral oil)
- Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is uniform and crumbly and starts to stick together. You may need to add 1 Tbsp. of water if your mixture is very dry. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
2. Shape the mixture into small 1 Tbsp. balls or patties and fry in a non-stick frying pan in small batches with 2 Tbsp. of vegetable oil on medium high heat until browned on each side. You will need to add more oil for each batch of falafels.
- 1 c. grated long English cucumber (about ½ a cucumber)
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 c. 2% plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped dill
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove crushed fresh garlic
- Place the grated cucumber in a fine sieve, mix in the salt, and let sit for approximately 45 minutes, pressing down on the cucumber and turning it over periodically to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Combine all of the ingredients, including the drained cucumber, in a small bowl and set aside.
Lemon Garlic Tahini Dressing
- ½ c. tahini
- ¼ c. water
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender or a small food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.