Part of allowing that process to happen is just taking some of the pressure off of myself. Some days aren't going to be full and productive. Some days are just going to be so-so. And that was today, and now I feel better.
A lot of people make falafel with just garbanzo flour and no beans but I'm not so sold on that method. I think they often end up dense and dry when prepared that way. These falafel taste fresh. They're crunchy on the outside, moist in the middle, and packed with flavor. One of my other favorite falafel experiments is a black bean and beluga lentil recipe. That will come in due time.
HERBED BEAN AND LENTIL FALAFEL
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
1/4 cup red lentils, 1 cup broth
1 small carrots or 1/2 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
4 fresh pepperoncini peppers, sliced finely (removing seeds if preferred)
1/2 white or yellow onion (finely diced), 2 cloves garlic (microplaned or finely minced)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp za'atar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper
1 can garbanzo beans, strained and rinsed
2 TBS finely crushed cashews
1 sprig of mint, 2 sprigs of parsley, 2 sprigs of oregano (all finely minced), 2 eggs
1/4 cup garbanzo flour (you can substitute white flour), 1/4 cup panko
2-3 TBS vegetable oil
Rinse lentils and cook them by bringing the lentils in broth up to a boil, then reducing to a simmer (uncovered) for about 20 minutes or until lentils have softened .When they have finished, strain them and set aside. Meanwhile, get a pan over medium heat. Add the oil, then the garlic and onions. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion starts to look translucent, then add the spices and seasonings. Saute a couple minutes more then add the beans. Cook the beans for about 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add the lentils and beans to a large bowl and mash slightly such that the mixture is cohesive but maintains some texture,
Get a small dry pan over medium-high heat. Add the cashews and toast, tossing frequently until they get nice color. Then add the cashews to the lentil and bean mixture. Next, whisk the eggs, then whisk the herbs into the eggs. Add the eggs to the lentil and bean mixture and stir until well-combined. Mix in the garbanzo flour, then mix in the panko. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes so that the panko can absorb any excess liquid.
Get the oil heating in a large pan over medium-high heat. Scoop out about 1 TBS of the falafel mix and roll into a smooth ball between your palms. Press to flatten a bit so that they can cook more evenly. When you have 6-8 falafel ready get them into the pan to cook. Fry about 2 minutes on each side, or until evenly golden brown. Set on a paper towel to drain the excess oil and start on the next batch. The falafel mix will keep in the fridge for about 5 days or in the freezer for who knows how long.