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Falafel salad with hummous dressing




بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته



After several sweet recipes, I thought something healthy is in order. It's wintertime, so that means most of us are crabving bone warming soups and stews. But after months of eating these hearty dishes, I think it's time for something lighter and heathier. During the summer months,  our table is usually decorated with a multitude of mezze dishes like salads, dips and quicky fixing finger foods.  Falafel (click) is one such favourite in my house. My recipe (click) is quick, easy ... actually really ridiculously easy and fool-proof. Sp I combined my 3 favourite foods of summer  into this year-round salad. The dressing I came up with for dressing came about by chance when I had a small portion of hummous leftover I didn't know what to do with. And for those who may not know, hummous is a Middle Eastern chickpea dip that orginated in ancient Egyptian times when it was called "Hummus kasa". It was imported to the lands of Jersusalem and Syria by the Jews on their exodus from Egypt. It has been enjoyed by arabs and people worldwide ever since. It is thick, garlicky, little messy, nutritious and all so delicious!

Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans, pois chiche, hammis, ceci beans or begal gram) are the main ingredient in both the falafel balls and dressing. Chickpeas are an ancient legume dating back as far as 8,500 years ago. Chickpeas are a nutritious superfood packed with loads of iron and protein. Chickpeas ara good source of dietary fiber, folate and zinc. They are low in fat; mostly polyunsaturated fat. You know the "good guy" fat that helps lower heart disease rates, improves fetal development in the womb and helps reduce the reoccurence of cancer cell development. Yes! This a healthy dish ... so I encourage you to try it out!

The salad ingredients aren't set in stone ... add more or less. It's what you like. I usually make this salad few times a week in the summer putting in what I have picked up fresh from the souq. On the day I took the photo, I made it more "Jerusalem" style salad using cucumbers, radishes, and tomatoes. On other days I would make it more Greek adding violet olives and feta, other days Moroccan with green olives and confit citron (preserved lemons) while other days adding Algerian adding green olives and capers. The skies is the limit.



Falafel salad with hummous dressing

active prep time: 15 mins | inactive prep time: 0min | cook time: 10mins  
serves 4 as a meal or 6-7 as a side

  • 1 head of lettuce (I used Bibb), washed and trimmed
  • 1 bunch of radishes (about 5) thinly sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cucumbered, thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch of parsely (about ½ cup) stems removed
  • dressing: 
    makes about 3/4 cup - 180mL
    • ¼ cup - 60g  - 2oz pre-cooked chickpeas 
    • ¼ cup - 60mL water
    • juice of one lemon
    • 1 ½ TBS - 20g tahini paste
    • 2 tsp vinegar (I used garlic infused vinegar)
    • 2 cloves of garlic, grated fine
    • ¼ medium onion grated fine (about 1 TBS)
    • pinch of Herbes de Provençe (click here)
    • Harissa (click here) -to taste optional
    • ¼ cup - 60mL extra virgin olive oil (Algerian of course! wink wink)
    • salt / black pepper




    Prepare the falafel balls: 
    1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
    2. Make a well in the bowl's center, add in the egg.
    3. Now slowly mix in the remaining wet ingredients.
    4. Form your falafel balls by hand or using a falafel scoop if you have one.
    5. Place the balls on a tray. And continue to form the balls until you have used all the dough up.
    6. Now either bake the balls in a preheated oven 180°C - 350°F for 15minutes or fry them in a deep fryer for 5 minutes or optionally if you have an air fryer like an Tefal ActiFr or Philips AirFryer as per the manufacturer's instructions. ( I usually just bake mine in the oven)
    7. Allow to cool before setting on your salad. Hot Falafel balls will welt your salad greens.
    Prepare the dressing:

    1. Place all the ingredients for dressing in a blender, or robocoupe (food processor) Or optionally use an immersion blender. Blend until smooth. If you don't have any of these, mush the chickpeas with fork, mortar pestle or use a food mill. More work ... but worth the effort. 
    Please note: This recipe makes  about 3/4 cup - 180mL of dressing. This amount may be more or less then you need, depending on how much dressing you like to use on your salads.
    Prepare the salad:
    1. Wash the vegetables well. For the lettuce I use a salad spinner bowl. I put the lettuce in the bowl then fill with cold water. Allow to set for a few minutes then gently massage the the bunch of lettuce to get all the dirt to sink to the bottom.
    2. Cut and slice up the vegetables.
    3. Place everything in a large serving bowl or platter.
    4. When you are ready to serve the salad, arrange the Falafel balls on the greens. I usually cut a few in half for a decorative look. And use 4-5 Falafel balls per person.
    5. Now pour little of the dressing over the salad. (I always have an extra bowl of dressing out for everyone)

    The hummous dressing also makes an excellent dip for your Falafel balls or even fried/baked vegetables like fries, onion rings or crudités.
    If you are for some reason trying to cut back on fats, subsitute half of the oil for milk in the recipe.
    If you don't have Tahini paste on hand, you can easily leave it out. It will taste fine without it. 
    Optionally, if you have some prepared hummous you can make this dressing by thinning it out with some water and olive oil




    salad, Middle Eastern, healthy, gluten-free  

     What's your favourite salad? 





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    9 comments:

    1. Magnifique salade Hénia qui me convient parfaitement, je la savoure des yeux, bises et bonne soirée

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    2. Nice salad! Looks healthy and colorful! loving the easy falafel recipe too! TY for sharing!

      xx Chahrazed

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