Flavors inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine are some of my favorites. Foods like tahini, cumin, lemon and chickpeas crowd my cupboards. And why shouldn’t they, with their multitude of health benefits and bold, scintillating tastes? Chickpeas, in particular, are popular in many diets around the world as a delicious and nutritious source of plant-based protein. When dried, roasted and ground, these hearty legumes transform into a fluffy, gluten-free flour that’s high in protein, iron and fiber. These baked vegan fritters — which also happen to be gluten free — are made with chickpea flour. And, as a keen eye will notice, this recipe also unsurprisingly contains all of my favorite Middle Eastern staples.
Gluten-Free Baked Herb Falafel
2-½ cups cooked/canned chickpeas
1 cup cilantro, including tender stems
1 cup onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. chickpea flour
1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
2 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. sea salt
3 cloves garlic
zest of 1 lemon
Tahini, for dipping
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, pulse garlic until diced. Leaving out chickpeas, add the rest of the ingredients and chop again until finely diced.
- Add chickpeas to the processor and continue to pulse until a textured dough forms. Don’t leave any large bits of chickpeas. If the dough needs moisture, add water by the tablespoon.
- Portion the mixture and flatten into disks. (Note: I used about 1/3 cup for each, but you can make them as large or as small as you’d like.)
- Bake for 27-30 minutes until golden brown, flipping after 20 minutes.
- Serve with tahini and a squeeze of fresh lemon.