Crazy food time! Ok, maybe not so crazy, because there’s falafel involved and that’s pretty much what most people want out of life (or at least in their stomachs). I figured I’d be a bit indulgent and faff around with some of my favourite ingredients and put the “protein” question six feet under because there is no mistaking this for a protein party and a celebration of lovely wholesome ingredients! 😀I’m also sharing this over at Healthy Vegan Fridays – go have a look at all the deliciousness! 😀
Mm mmmm mmm! Who doesn’t love falafel? I mean, c’mon, little balls of joy and happiness. When we go to the Saturday Food Market I usually order an amazing falafel wrap (see my profile pic!) that’s just huge and stuffed with deliciousness all round. They have an awesome selection of wraps as well in various wild colours, but for this tart I figured I’d keep it simple for myself with a homemade buckwheat crust, but if you can and want to feel free to use puff pastry.
Note: If you don’t want to use a crust then add 1/2 cup buckwheat flour to the mixture so that it is nice and firm for baking. The filling for this pie looks rather shallow because I baked it in my bigger 10+” ridged baking pan, so it should be more voluminous in a 8″ pan.
Falafel frosted hummus tart (serves 4 – 8):
Sesame spinach falafel:
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups de-stemmed spinach or baby spinach leaves
- 2 tsp coriander
- 1 TBSP dry parsley
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 3 TBSP oat or rice bran
- 3 TBSP sesame seeds
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP boiling water
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- optional: 1 TBSP fresh dill, chopped finely
- 1 tsp black pepper
Hummus tart filling:
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 TBSP vinegar of choice
- 1 can chickpeas (or roughly 2 cups if you have your own stock)
- 2 medium eggplants, diced (approx 3.5 cups)
- 1 medium bell pepper of choice, diced
- 3 radishes, diced
- 1 TBSP parsley
- 3 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 3 vegan eggs of choice (powdered vegan eggs, chia or flax)
- 4 TBSP salsa
- some soy milk
- 1 cup + 2 TBSP buckwheat flour
- 4 TBSP oil OR purée of choice (I used carrot)
- 4 TBSP water (add more if necessary)
- pinch salt
- Take our your frozen puff pastry if using and set it aside a few hours beforehand.
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray.
- Blend or chop your spinach down significantly in a food processor, then add the rest of the falafel ingredients and form small balls (approx 35) with wet hands. Flatten slightly on baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.
- Set falafel aside and bake your chopped vegetables for 20 minutes. Bake the cherry tomatoes for 10.
- Whilst your veggies bake mix your pastry ingredients together until it forms a ball – not too sticky.
- In a sprayed and baking paper lined 8″ springform pan press in the bottom and sides with the pastry, up to 1.5 – 2 cm, and poke some holes with a fork in the sides and the middle.
- Once your veggies have stopped baking bake your pie base for 5 minutes.
- Evenly spread the salsa along the sides and bottom of the pie base.
- Blend the rest of the filling ingredients and fold in the roasted veggies except the tomatoes.
- Smooth out the hummus filling and then lightly press in the cherry halves, cut side face down, into the filling however you like, leaving small gaps for your falafel.
- Paint the top edges of the pastry with some soy milk.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Take out your pie and gently press your falafel balls into the pie between the cherry halves.
- Bake for another 10 minutes
- Let the pie cool completely before releasing from the springform pan.
- Blend your tahini mix and drizzle over the pie liberally.
- Slice with a sharp serrated knife, sawing downwards as you would a loaf of bread.
- Serve warm or cold, storing in an air-tight tupperware in the fridge.
These falafel balls are so simple and awesome – great to shove in a panini grill or in lettuce wraps. I didn’t make them as spicy as I usually do because of the other flavours in the dish that combined just work awesomely. The tahini drizzle especially was very difficult to resist, because I could easily just eat it with a dessert spoon.
I actually prefer this tart after a day in the fridge though, because the whole mix just settles really well and the crust gets nice and moist in some ways, so you get much more of a “wrap” taste than you do a tart crust, if that makes sense. From the picture above you can see why I recommended lining your baking pan, but so we learn. It’s still super delicious and oh so filling, but that’s no reason you can’t go back for a second slice since there’s no funny business here 🙂You can’t really tell, since I pretty much drowned the tart in drizzle, but the lovely soft chickpea mixture underneath the crispy falafel is just heavenly and really goes so well with the crust and lovely roasted tomatoes. Hummus is usually the first thing the lady at the market smears onto the falafel so I figured a thicker layer of spiced hummus was where it’s at.
Anyway, stuff like this is made for when you have serious business ahead of you for the day. Today I’m slogging away at a big assignment for my library sciences diploma before heading out to the cat shelter, so it’s a big excuse for comfort food (waking up, any day ending with ‘day’ and general existence also being good excuses)! However I’m in a pretty good mood for once – we went to a cousin’s wedding yesterday and despite the moans and groans at getting dressed up and all the rest I ended up with very mushy feelings about Man-thing; how awesome he is and how blessed I am to have scored such a wacky prize. ❤ That and this crazy pie make life rather whimsical and joyous amid all the horrors that humans can get up to. And with that, I go off to finish that stupid essay!