Served on their own, or as a flavorful starter to any meal, gluten free falafel is crunchy, satisfying, and wholesome!
Gluten-Free Falafel with Mediterranean Pear Relish
Refreshing, juicy pear relish plays beautifully with savory falafel in this appetizer-meets-main course, but you can serve intrinsically gluten-free falafel with whatever you wish, including hummus or plain yogurt. Note: You’ll need to soak the chickpeas overnight, so plan accordingly (do not use canned chickpeas). Covered, refrigerated leftovers keep for 3 days. This perky relish is a perfect partner for falafel, but it is also delightful with pork or fish.
- 1 (16-ounce) bag dried chickpeas
- 5 cloves garlic
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped white onion
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Grapeseed or vegetable oil for frying
For the Mediterranean Pear Relish (Makes about 2 cups):
- 2 cups chopped Bartlett or Anjou pears
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Place the chickpeas in a bowl, cover with 3 inches of water, then soak overnight. Drain just before using.
In a food processor, combine the garlic, onion, Italian parsley, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and salt. Add the drained chickpeas, then pulse, stopping and scraping down the sides occasionally, until the mixture becomes a coarse meal that sticks together when squeezed into a ball. Scoop out about 3 tablespoons of the dough and shape it into a ball, then slightly flatten the ball. Repeat with all the dough.
Line a plate with paper towels. In a heavy small or medium skillet over medium heat, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 350ºF to 375ºF. (You can tell if the oil is ready by dipping a wooden spoon into it; if the oil steadily bubbles around the spoon, you’re good to go. If the oil vigorously bubbles, it’s too hot.) Working in batches, carefully place the balls into the oil and fry until the falafel are golden brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on the prepared plate.
For the pear relish: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.
Serve the falafel with the relish on the side.
Photography Ben Mastracco