There's nothing quite as simple and tasty as a freshly cooked falafel. Once seen as just the vegan option, it's become a stalwart on the festival eating scene and a real favourite on restaurant menus. For good reasons too, a tasty falafel packs enough flavour to tempt even die hard meat-eaters away from the burger van.
You'll find ready-cooked falafels everywhere in the supermarkets - but they tend to be pretty dry and tasteless. The reality is that a freshly made falafel is the only way to go. Of course making a falafel mix from scratch is great, however the clever folks at Al'fez have created an ingenious, authentic falafel mix that takes all the faff out of making falafels. You don't need a smelly deep fat fryer, just a small pan with a couple of inches of hot oil, some cold water and two spoons. Simply empty the contents of the box and mix with 170ml of cold water and leave it to stand for 5 minutes. Then using two spoons, form golf ball sized nuggets and shallow fry in hot oil for around 3 minutes.
Sipping chilled wine and eating falafels slathered in tahini with pitta bread is a joy and perfect for summer entertaining, al fresco BBQ's or just an ordinary Tuesday night. In this recipe, I've also paired the falafels with a classic Tabouleh salad, which when made correctly should be thought of as a parsley salad with bulgur wheat, rather than the other way round.
For the Tahini Sauce 3tbsp Tahini Paste 1 Clove of Garlic Juice of 1 Lemon Around 8tbsp cold water Salt
For the Tabouleh Salad 80g Bulgur Wheat 3 x Bunches of Flat Leaf Parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped 1 x Bunch of Fresh Mint, leaves picked and finely chopped 4 x Tomatoes, seeds removed and finely diced 1 x Red Onion, peeled and finely diced 1tsp Ground Allspice 1tsp Ground Cinnamon Juice of 1 Lemon Around 120ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salt & Pepper
1. Start by making the Tabouleh salad. Rinse the bulgur wheat under running water, then cook in roughly 1¾ times the volume of salted boiling water for around 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave to sit - all the water should get absorbed.
2. Whilst the bulgur wheat is cooking, make the tahini sauce. Combine all the ingredients and whisk together. You want a sauce that's roughly the consistency of double cream, so if you think it's a little too thick, add more water. The amount of lemon juice and salt you add makes a real difference, it removes any bitterness from the tahini paste. So you may need to adjust these levels slightly as you go.
3. Empty the contents of the falafel mix into a bowl and add 170ml of cold water. Mix well and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
4. Combine all the other ingredients for the Tabouleh Salad, and gently mix together.
5. Fill a small pan or wok with a couple of inches of rapeseed oil and heat until it's hot, but not smoking!
6. Using a couple of spoons make a nugget shape of falafel mix and drop it into the hot oil. Cook for around 3 minutes, turning them so they cook evenly on all sides. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
We love these served with grilled pitta breads and often incorporate them in one of these great 'grazing' table meals with things like artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, olives, pickles.
Foodies - don't forget to tag us @somerset.foodie (insta) or @SomersetFoodie (Facebook) if you make these at home.
Have you tried this recipe yet? Tell us about it...
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Also in Somerset Foodie recipes - let us inspire you...
Black pepper beef is one of those enduring dishes that's on every Chinese takeaway menu. This dish is super easy and really quick to bring together at home with just a few ingredients. Beef and black pepper are bold flavours and the combination will make your mouth water and your taste buds tingle.
Fried chicken is one of the true joys in life, it's heralded in many parts of the world and done differently wherever you go. The Japanese version is known as Chicken Karaage and it's absolutely delicious, particularly when dunked in some rich Kewpie mayonnaise, spiked with Japanese seven spice. I've served my Karaage with a simple slaw that I dressed with a really great sweet miso and sesame dressing and some plain rice.
If you've ever thought vegetarian food is slightly dull, hold on to your hats... this simple one-pot dish based on the humble chickpea absolutely packs in the flavour. The soft creamy chickpeas are cooked in a richly flavoured tomato sauce with a good splash of Fino sherry, dried chilli and smoked paprika. The dish is finished with roasted peppers, creamy aioli made with olive oil, a scattering of fresh parsley and a chunk of grilled sourdough.
These noodles are delicious and cook really quick. Albeit that these are EGG noodles, they are made using duck egg, which means that for my wife who has an allergy to eggs she is not affect by these noodles. What more can I say…brilliant.