k Cauliflower falafel with a beetroot, tahini & toasted almond dip k
There’s something wonderfully wholesome yet deliciously satisfying about a good falafel. Strangely I tend to eat falafel more in the summery months so I decided to experiment with two of my favourite winter vegetables: cauliflower and beetroot.
This recipe is super easy to prepare but an essential bit of kit is required, that being a food processor. For the falafel and the dip you simply add all the ingredients and whizz. What you end up with is a gorgeous opulent dish that is delectable, visually stunning and guaranteed to win over the hearts of falafel and beetroot sceptics.
This recipe is great served as a light lunch or a canapés at parties. I recently had some true falafel fans over for lunch and they claimed they were the best they have eaten based upon the unique texture and flavour.
For the falafel I used cooked chickpeas, ground almonds, ground cumin and coriander, a good handful of fresh parsley and coriander and of course raw cauliflower which has an abundance of vitamin K and D – vital for bone health and sulforaphane…a powerful phytochemical that aids antiaging, protects against inflammation.
This incredibly vibrant dip has a lovely nutty creaminess from the tahini and little zing of lime is just right, I like to garnish with a bit of crunchy raw beetroot and chopped toasted almonds for texture.I try and eat beetroot regularly in my diet – juiced, roasted or raw in a salad. I love the rich earthiness and it’s versatility for various recipes. They have a whole host of incredible nutrients and phytochemicals that stimulate liver cell function.
Beetroot give the lymphatic system a natural boost in the winter, they contain collagen building vitamin C, iron, beta-carotene and vitamin K. Beets contain lycopene that helps maintain youthful skin elasticity and defends against skin damage (great for us Ibiza sunbathers).
For the falafel…
350g fresh cauliflower florets
400g can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
60g ground almonds
80g wholemeal spelt flour
1 garlic clove
½ small onion
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground corinader
1½ teaspoons sea salt flakes
½ teaspoon baking powder
handful flat leaf parsley – chopped
handful fresh coriander – chopped
For the beetroot dip
450g cooked baby beetroot, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoon tahini paste
1 garlic clove
50g toasted almonds
Squeeze of lime juice
Sea salt flakes and black pepper to taste
(Optional raw beetroot and chopped almonds and micro cress to garnish)
- Place cauliflower, chickpeas, ground almonds spelt flour, garlic, onion, chilli, cumin, coriander, fresh herbs, salt and baking powder into a food processor and process until coarsely chopped and mixed.
- Shape the mix into golf ball sized balls.
- Heat sunflower, groundnut or vegetable oil in a medium saucepan on high (the oil should be about 5-6 cm deep).
- Carefully drop 3-4 falafel balls in the oil and fry for about 2-3 minutes or until cooked and deep golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat for remaining balls.
- To make the beetroot dip, place all ingredients in a small food processor and blitz for a few seconds until smooth and squeeze over the lime juice
- Serve falafels on a bed of leaves or micro cress with the beetroot dip and pita breads
NOTE; For a healthier version you can preheat oven to 200C and place the falafel balls on baking tray. Spray with a little bit of cooking oil and bake for 30-40 minutes until the they are dark and golden all over (turn once during the cooking process)