Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Olive Tapenade Stuffed Falafel!

Okay, honestly, who doesn't love falafel?  Meditarannean food is very close to my heart.  Greek, Turkish, Italian, Spanish....yes please!  Not only do I love falafel, but clearly the idea of having multiple sauces to accompany these little chickpea balls is even that much more alluring!  Although, I do find it funny that hummus goes with falafel.  Chick peas with chick peas???  Sure!  Why not?

I have been wanting to do a something a little bit different with the typical falafel for quite some time.  I am very surprised stuffed falafel has not really been done yet!  What a great idea, right?

Olive tapenade seemed to be a perfect pairing with falafel, so why not stuff it in the middle??  You get a little surprise when you take a bite into each ball.

I look forward to coming up with more ideas/variations of the ever so amazing falafel!

You can either buy olive tapenade or make your own.  If you have olives laying around, it is really the easiest thing to make.  Just throw a mix of pitted olives in the blender, add in a touch of evoo and blend away.  I added some cherry tomatoes to brighten it up.

If you don't feel like making it, I know that Trader Joe's carries a great tapenade!

Lastly, I love the versatility of falafel!  You can eat it as an appetizer, throw it in a salad, or bundle it up inside a pita.

Olive Tapenade Stuffed Falafel

1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed (or dried chickpeas soaked over night)
1/4 c mixed parsley and cilantry chopped
1 tbsp tahini
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1-2 tbsp garbanzo bean flour (or flour of choice)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp evoo
1/4 c olive tapenade

Preheat oven 450.  Add in all the above ingredients to food processor and pulse.  You may have to scrap the sides and mix with fork a few times.  Add water if mixture seems too thick and will not break down.  Continue to pulse until mixture is broken down, but do not let it get to the point of puree!

Lightly oil baking dish.  Roll about 1.5 tbsp of falafel mixture into a ball, then with your finger, create a small well in the middle and spoon in olive tapenade and then roll into ball again.  Light brush with evoo and continue process until mixture is dont.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes, turning once or twice.  You can finish them off by frying in pan to make crispier.  This is optional.  Enjoy with tzatziki, hummus, tahini, or whatever floats your boat!

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