Traditional falafel is made from seasoned, mashed chickpeas that are shaped into patties and deep-fried. Here we use the same components to make a tasty filling for eggplants, baked and topped with a deliciously nutty sauce.
3 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
2 eggplants (about 12 ounces each)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 large eggs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
How to Make It
To prepare sauce, combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 475°.
To prepare eggplant, slice the eggplants in half lengthwise; score cut sides with a crosshatch pattern. Place the eggplant halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 475° for 7 minutes or until slightly tender and browned. Remove from oven; carefully scoop out pulp, leaving a 3/4-inch shell. Reserve pulp for another use. Season cut sides with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, onion, and next 11 ingredients (through chickpeas) in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon 1/2 cup chickpea mixture into each eggplant shell. Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until eggplant halves are tender and chickpea mixture is lightly browned.
To prepare relish, combine the tomato and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir to combine.
Place 1 eggplant half on each of 4 plates. Top each half with 1/4 cup relish and 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce.
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DIdn't change anything on this recipe, and it was great. Super simple and all the components can be made ahead except roasting the eggplants. We loved every bite! Served with steamed spinach, pita bread, some rice cooked in chicken stock with lemon, and a little feta cheese on the side. Next time, I will incorporate the scooped-out eggplant in with the tahini & garbanzo mixture.
This dish is so wonderful as is but, when I served it on pita with tzatziki and chili sauces it reminds me of the the falafel we had last year at L'As du Falafel in the Marais neighborhood in Paris. That yummy!
I made this recipe tonight and it was fantastic. If you like Mediterranean food then you will really enjoy this. The falafel puffs up to be light and fluffy, and baking it gives it a little crispiness on top. It’s all the goodness of falafel without the fried oil. The sauce is a little sweet from the honey and the relish really gives it freshness.
It looks a little complex because there are so many ingredients but it’s really very easy to make. Most things just need to be measured and put into the blender. The hardest part was scooping out the eggplant. I would suggest scoring as deep as you want to scoop out or parts of the eggplant don’t soften up well and can make it a challenge to neatly remove the insides.
The only things I left out was the flat-leaf parsley and that’s only because I didn’t have any on hand, but I am sure that would have made the relish that much better.
I ate it with the Green Bean, Chickpea, and Tomato Salad which was an excellent combination. http://www.myr
So good! It tasted just like falafel. I did everything as recipe stated. I usually avoid raw onion at all costs, but since CL never steers me wrong, I kept it in the relish. Good move - it added a great flavor and crunch. I just had to deal with the onion breath a bit :) It was really great to have some sauce and relish with every bite of the dish. Definitely will make again during eggplant season.