Sunday, March 16, 2014

Falafel Pie

Pi day (March 14th) was the day before Purim, so I combined the two traditions.  I got my vegetarian, legume-based, theoretically healthy meal, but in pie form.  It also saved me from having the just-fried smell in the house all weekend.  Finding out I can bake the falafel in a way that does not ruin the texture was a welcome bit of news.

Purim also means that I have just under five weeks to use the chometz in the house before Passover.  There's always some, like flour, that I just put away for the holiday.  The process is easier if there's less of it around.  I'll be working my way through the dried beans, rice, and frozen baked goods for a while.  The garbanzo beans in the falafel count.

This recipe is modified from Bake at 350º.  The falafel base is a lot like hers, but I'm changing the topping.  Putting hummus on a chickpea crust seemed like overkill to me.  Like any pizza, what you put on it is entirely up to you.

*2/3 C dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 C fresh parsley leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
*3 cloves garlic
*1 tsp cumin
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 C flour
olive oil for greasing pan
1 single-serving (6oz) container of Greek yogurt
1 tsp lemon juice
*1/4 tsp dill weed
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 Roma tomato, diced
1/2 C sliced olives (your choice of type)

1.  The day before, soak the beans in 3 cups of water.  I highly recommend soaking your own, as the texture of canned doesn't really work in falafel.  Drain after at least 18 hours.

2.  In a food processor, combine garbanzo, onion, parsley, salt, paprika, cumin, garlic, and baking powder.  Pulse into a chunky paste.  Add flour and pulse again to absorb some of the excess moisture and create something more like a dough.

3.  Preheat oven to 375º and liberally oil a pie pan.  This is what is going to "fry" the falafel, and it will stick to the pan if you don't.  Press dough into the pan, making a slight ridge up the side so the toppings will fill the center of the pie.  Bake for 20 minutes, until edges are browned and center is firm.  Allow to cool slightly while you prepare the toppings.
4.  Beat together yogurt, lemon juice, and dill.  Spread sauce over base of pie shell.  Arrange cucumber slices, chopped tomatoes, and sliced olives.  Serve slices while crust is still warm.

Difficulty rating  :)

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