Crunchy Red Swiss Chard Falafel
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 pound red Swiss chard, well washed and roughly chopped
- scant 1 cup milk
- scant 1 cup chickpea flour
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons cooked (canned) chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- vegetable oil for deep frying
- ground turmeric for garnish
- Tahini, Lemon and Sumac Sauce (below)
In a medium nonstick saucepan, bring the milk to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Little by little, whisk in the chickpea flour until you have a smooth paste. Keep the mixture moving to avoid lumps. Then season, add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and cook over low heat for 8 minutes, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. Like cream puff dough, the mixture will come away from the sides of the pan and become a ball as it is heated.
Cool the ball of paste, then mix in the sauteed onions, chickpeas, lemon juice and blanched chard. Using your hands, mold the mixture into golf-ball-sized balls and arrange on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.
In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 350 degrees F. Carefully place the falafel into the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with the turmeric. Serve with the tahini sauce.
Tahini, Lemon and Sumac Sauce:
3 tablespoons tahini paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
juice of 2 small lemons
2 garlic cloves, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed sumac
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
Mix the tahini, cumin and the lemon juice in a bowl. Slowly stir in 1-2 tablespoons of water, a little at a time, until you have a consistency that resembles thick cream. Then add the garlic, and season.
Recipe courtesy of Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume by Silvena Rowe.