There is nothing better than homemade falafel and these charred broccoli falafel are everything! The charred broccoli brings a new depth of flavor to falafel. Raw broccoli is roasted and then blended with chickpeas and spices. Then, classic lemon tahini is given a makeover with the simple addition of charred lemon. Whether it's on a salad or in a pita pocket, this is the perfect meal.

Charred Broccoli Falafel With Charred Lemon Tahini [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Cooking Time

25

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Ingredients

For the Charred Broccoli:

  • 4 1/2 cups raw broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • A dash of salt and pepper

For the Falafel:

  • 1 1/2 cups dry chickpeas or 3 cups cooked
  • Filtered water
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cilantro
  • 3/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 cups charred broccoli (recipe above)

For the Charred Lemon:

  • 1-2 lemons, sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

For the Charred Lemon Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup (about 4 slices) charred lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup filtered water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the Garnish Options:

  • Radish
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Charred broccoli
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Preparation

To Make the Chickpeas:

  1. If using dry chickpeas, put the beans in a bowl and add water 2 inches above the beans, leave overnight for at least 12 hours, then drain and rinse. Set aside.

To Make the Charred Broccoli:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together the broccoli, oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on the baking sheet and place on middle rack.
  3. Roast for 15 minutes, then stir broccoli around for even cooking. Roast for another 5-10 minutes and make sure and check on them every 5 minutes, until broccoli is as charred as you like it.

To Make the Falafel:

  1. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet, on a medium-low heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes then add the garlic and salt then sauté until the garlic just starts to become golden.
  2. Add the onion/garlic, lemon juice, and spices into a food processor, scrape the edges, and pulse a few more times.
  3. Add the cilantro and the chickpeas and pulse about 15 times, you want it a bit chunky.
  4. Add the flour and half the charred broccoli, then pulse a few more times making sure to incorporate all the flour. Add the remaining broccoli and pulse a few more times.
  5. Put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

To Make the Charred Lemon:

  1. Slice the lemons no less than a 1/4-inch or the flesh will dissolve. Lightly coat in olive oil and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Turn on the burner to medium-high heat.
  2. Heat up a cast iron skillet or in the frying pan and when hot add the lemons in a single layer.
  3. Cook until the lemons just beginning to char then flip to char the other side, about 2 -3 minutes on each side.

To Make the Tahini:

  1. Measure and add everything to a food processor or blender and purée. It will thicken a bit if refrigerated. You can add more water, if desired.

To Assemble:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Form falafel batter into golf ball-sized balls, press flat to form a disc, and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip them over for 10 more minutes or until golden. Serve everything separately to let your guest build their own sandwich.
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