Falafel Burgers

Falafel Burger

I love falafel, but was looking for another option to frying those little tidbits of goodness.  By flattening them a little and baking them in the oven, I got falafel flavor in a burger without the mess. Try them for lunch or a meatless summer meal!

Falafel Burgers

2 cups cooked, cooled and drained chickpeas (or canned, drained)

1 cup drained artichoke hearts (canned or thawed from frozen)

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1 minced shallot

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup shredded parmesan or feta cheese (leave out for vegan version)

Juice and zest of one lemon

1 teaspoon paprika

1-2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup all-purpose flour or multi-purpose gluten free flour mix

1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

1 egg (substitute 1 tablespoon ground flax seed steeped in 1/4 cup warm water for vegan version)

Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor until approximately half are mashed and the rest broken up in chunks (don’t puree them), or mash them with a potato masher. Place them in a separate medium sized bowl and set aside.

Squeeze the liquid out of the artichokes to dry them out a bit. Place in the bowl of the food processor with the remainder of the ingredients. Pulse just until mixed well and artichoke is in smaller pieces. Remove contents to the bowl with the mashed chickpeas and stir everything together thoroughly.

Form balls of falafel in the palm of your hand, place on a plate or baking sheet lined with cling wrap and flatten gently into a burger. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or freeze for 15 minutes.

To cook your burgers, brush both sides of the cold patties in olive oil and bake them on a parchment lined baking sheet in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10-12 minutes, flipping them over halfway through baking.

If you want a nice crust on them, pan fry these in a skillet in a low layer of canola or olive oil, until thoroughly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

Serve in burger buns, on pita or on lettuce with condiments. Try drizzling tahini and hot sauce on them. Garnish with pickled vegetables or fresh lettuce, tomato and cucumber. I topped mine simply with Buffalo Ketchup and fresh romaine lettuce.

Makes 12 burgers.

Dried Tomatoes

I added some homemade dried cherry tomatoes to my falafel burger mix for extra flavor. To make them, simply rinse and dry a pint or two of cherry tomatoes. Bake in a 225 degree Fahrenheit oven for 3-4 hours or until wrinkly and mostly dried but still a little moist inside.

Let cool, then store in a jar topped off with good olive oil, a sprig of fresh basil and a sprinkling of salt. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week. They are great to top burgers or sandwiches, mixed in with pasta or rice dishes or as a nice addition to your antipasto.