The Deconstructed Falafel Salad

September 4, 2019 Updated: September 4, 2019

Falafels are the perfect plant-based morsel and a family favorite. However, in this salad, I’ve dismantled perfection and discovered a new, delicious way to enjoy the feted flavors of falafels—chickpeas, cumin, parsley, mint, and tahini. The crispy oven-roasted chickpeas are nothing short of incredible, and I encourage you to try roasting all types of beans in this manner.

Serves 4

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 bunches of kale, stems removed and leaves torn
  • 1 Persian cucumber, sliced into thin rounds
  • 3 cups store-bought pita chips (omit for gluten-free)
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Sea salt

For the crispy roasted chickpeas:

  • 18 ounces cooked chickpeas (about 2 drained cans), patted dry (or substitute white beans or butter beans)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

For the lemon tahini:

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus extra if needed
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

For the crispy roasted chickpeas, place the drained chickpeas in a small ovenproof dish. Cover with olive oil, season well with two big pinches of sea salt and black pepper, and add the garlic, cumin, and paprika. Stir to combine. Roast for 35–40 minutes, until the chickpeas are crispy. Set aside.

For the salad, place a large frying pan over a medium heat and drizzle with oil. Add the kale, in batches, along with a pinch of salt and cook for 2–3 minutes, until wilted.

To make the lemon tahini, pour the tahini into a small bowl and whisk in the lemon juice and garlic. Gradually add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until the sauce is the consistency of thickened cream. If the tahini “seizes” and becomes very thick, add more water; it will eventually come back together to form a cohesive creamy sauce. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and add more lemon juice if you like it lemony.

Combine the crispy chickpeas (and their cooking oil) with the kale, cucumber, half the pita chips and herbs. To serve, drizzle over the lemon tahini and scatter over the remaining pita chips. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “Family: New Vegetarian Comfort Food to Nourish Every Day,” by Hetty McKinnon. Published by Prestel.

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