Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Baked Falafel Burgers

This, sadly, is the last veggie burger recipe I have to share from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way, at least for now. It's not to say there still aren't a few more bookmarked recipes I'm anxious to try, but for most of the remaining recipes I'm waiting for the principle ingredient to come into season so I can really do it right. Luckily for me, this delicious burger is not dependent on seasonality (there's no way chickpeas are even coming into season in Wisconsin), but still bursting with flavor. Smoky cumin delights the taste buds with each bite, complemented by bursts of fresh lemon and parsley. A bit of forethought is required to soak the chickpeas, but putting the burgers together takes just a few minutes and everything can be cleaned up in the time it takes for the burgers to cook. Although not the indulgence of traditional deep-fried falafel, baking these burgers creates a crispy crust without adding too much fat, but don't skimp too much if you want a nice crust. A decidedly delicious and satisfying lunch, they could also make a delightful appetizer if shaped into 12 to 18 patties and served with a yogurt dipping sauce. Although I'm a little sad to be done with this treasury of veggie burgers for now, I know I'm going out with a great recipe and I'll be back to Veggie Burgers Every Which Way before too long.

Baked Falafel Burgers
adapted from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way by Lukas Volger
makes six 4-inch burgers

1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed thoroughly
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon toasted cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chickpea or all-purpose flour, if needed

1 .
 Cover the chickpeas by 4 to 5 inches water in a bowl and let sit for 24 hours. Drain thoroughly.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

3. Combine the chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, lemon zest and juice, cumin seeds, baking soda, salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a good processor. Pulse until coarsely combined. If the mixture is struggling to come together, add a bit of water, but no more than 2 tablespoons. (The mixture will fall apart when cooking if there's too much liquid). If water is added, stir in the chickpea flour. Adjust seasonings. Shape into 6 patties (it will be a fairly wet dough).

4. Place the patties on a liberally oiled baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping them once halfway through, until golden and firm.

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