Friday, May 11, 2012

Recipe: Falafel Patties with Green Garlic

I'll never forget the evening we had some of our older son's college friends over for dinner many years ago now. As these young men left, one of them grabbed my arm and thanked me over and over for making falafel from scratch. I was deeply touched by his sincerity but also that he recognized and appreciated 'scratch' cooking. :) This recipe is simply a variation on a standard falafel recipe by substituting green garlic for some of the fresh parsley.


  • Chickpeas, canned, 2-15 oz cans, drained (the easy way, or cook your own from dried chickpeas to make ~4 cups)
  • Breadcrumbs - 1 cup
  • Green Garlic - 6 stalks, white and green
  • Parsley, minced - 1/2 cup (one bunch, take out as many stems as you can without being obsessive)
  • Flour - 1/4  cup (I use white whole wheat flour)
  • Salt - 1  teaspoon
  • Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Ground coriander - 1-1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground cumin - 1-1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric  - 1 teaspoon
  • Cayenne pepper - 1/8 teaspoon
  • Oil for pan frying (as little as possible just to keep the patties from sticking - I used a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet)


    1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse them with fresh water. Place the chickpeas, breadcrumbs and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the chickpeas are the size of the breadcrumbs. Do not overprocess to a puree.
    2. Remove the chickpea mixture to a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil and mix together well. The mixture should have a fairly dry, crumbly texture. Add a little water (I added ~1/4 cup, but start with 2 Tbsp.) if it is too dry to form balls with your hand. Adjust seasoning to taste. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls or ovals and then flatten slightly.
    3. Heat very thin of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Drop patties a few at a time onto the hot skillet and brown well on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the browned patties from the skillet and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining patties. I have also successfully baked patties in the oven at 375 degrees about 20 minutes, turning half way through. 
    4. Falafel can be served on its own with yogurt (plain) or serve with Mint-Green Garlic Dip. Or stuff it in pita bread halves with tomatoes, cucumbers and onions and eat as a sandwich.  

    Falafel patties cooling and draining excess oil (very little) on a paper towel. Sorry the picture is sideways - it is not in my jpg file. 

    Falafel patties complete with Green Garlic-Mint Yogurt Dip on top, roasted sweet potato wedges, pickled garlic scapes with some locally-made Perkins Pickles that my husband just loved because they had a good crunch and were not 'too briney'. 

    I think you are probably seeing the big picture here, that green garlic is a very versatile additional way of using garlic in cooking. Not only is it a delicate, not over-powering, garlic taste, it added color, texture, and even substance to a dish like these falafel patties. 

    One more recipe coming - Paella with Green Garlic!

    Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row, 

    Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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