This weather has me craving fresh, vibrant salads that are full of life! Does anyone else FEEL the energy they get from eating leafy greens and ripe, juicy tomatoes?
Greens are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamins and iron. They help to detoxify and hydrate the body. And right now at the farmer’s market, there are tons of greens to choose from: mizuna, arugula, spinach, lettuce, baby kale, sorrel and more. If you’re not familiar, they each really do have their own personality. You should be able to ask for a sample of each kind before you buy at your local market.
And if you think salads are what your food eats, don’t worry, you won’t be hungry an hour later. Both the quinoa and chickpeas in the falafel add a healthy dose of plant protein that even my meat-eating man loved.
Falafel are a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean chickpea patty mixed with herbs and spices. Typically, they’re rolled into balls and fried like hushpuppies, but I like mine more like a slider. Our version is made with tons of garlic and enough fresh parsley and cilantro to turn them bright green. They are so fresh and full of flavor. You can dip them in a tzatiki sauce for a snack, wrap in a pita sandwich, or try this amazing-albeit, unexpected – salad.
This Greek Salad with Falafel and Quinoa is great with either green or black olives. It’s light, yet filling – and like most simple meals, since there are only a few ingredients, it’s best to use the highest quality you can. If you had feta on hand, you could add that for another special touch.And our Healthy Harvest Lemon Garlic dressing adds a boost of live active cultures to support digestion.
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 1½ cups fresh parsley leaves, tightly-packed
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, tightly-packed
- ½ cup diced white or red onion
- ⅓ cup rice flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4-5 tablespoons HH Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups greens, washed and chopped
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked as directed
- handful HH olives
- 2-3 small tomatoes, cut in wedges
- ½ cup red onlon, thinly sliced
- Add garlic, chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, onion, flour, lemon juice, baking powder, salt, cumin and black pepper to a food processor. Pulse until smooth and evenly mixed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. If the mixture is too goeey, add a little more flour. They turn out best if the batter has been chilled, but you fry them right away as well.
- Take a spoonful of mixture and form into a small disk with your hands. You could make all your disks on parchment paper first, but I just form them as I drop them into the oil.
- Heat oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. (If you add a drop of water to the oil, it should sizzle.) The key to perfect crispiness is a hot pan and not too much oil. Carefully transfer 4 or 5 falafel disks to the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides of the disk are browned. Transfer to a plate. Then repeat with the remaining falafel disks, adding extra oil to the pan if need be.
- To prepare, assemble a bed of greens. Top with heaping serving of quinoa. Place tomato wedges and olives evenly around plate. Add falafel. Dress with lemon juice and a liberal drizzle HH Greek or use True Tuscan for an extra special treat. Or try our Lemon Greek dressing. Additionally, you could add crumbled feta.