One of the best things about starting our blog are the friends that we’ve made along the way… the kindred spirits who share the same passion for cooking and posting fresh, healthy food as we do. They’re the types of friends that, while in town visiting, don’t mind being asked to hold up a light diffuser for the perfect shot and will gladly accept their roles as hand models for your sponsored picnic.
Today is a special day for our friends Sonja and Alex of the blog (and podcast) A Couple Cooks – their book Pretty Simple Cooking is out! To celebrate, we made these Falafel Burgers which were absolutely delicious and really pretty simple to make.
What I like about this recipe (and really all of the recipes in this book) is that the ingredients are so easy to find. Usually falafel recipes call for chickpea flour, but it’s not necessary in this falafel burger made with canned chickpeas, whole wheat flour, carrots, onions, sesame seeds, cilantro, and a slew of spices. The mixture gets pulsed together in a food processor, the burgers get a quick sear, and then they finish baking in the oven. I’m finishing the last burger for lunch as I type this – this is a great recipe if you want leftovers! Oh, and don’t skip the yogurt dill sauce, it’s so delicious!
These days, “simple” cooking often means “fast! easy!” or “10 minutes or less!” Pretty Simple Cooking instead says that simple cooking should be about thoughtfulness and love for food, the process of cooking it, and the people around you. This book is for anyone who feels intimidated to step into the kitchen, because Sonja has such encouraging lessons about life, love, and food. It’s also for food lovers of any level looking for creative recipes to up their veggie game.
The next recipes on my list to try are their Eggplant Parmesan Casserole, Red & Green Enchiladas, and Veggie Supreme Paella!
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas (3 cups cooked)
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 6 medium garlic cloves
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 large carrots
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 4 teaspoons cumin
- 4 teaspoons coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- ¼ cup lemon juice (1 large lemon)
- 2 cups whole milk plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- pickles or pickled onions
- cilantro, lettuce or sliced cucumber
- 8 toasted hamburger buns
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Make the burgers: Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Blot them with a paper towel or clean dish towel to remove any extra moisture, then place them in the bowl of a large food processor. Add the sesame seeds and process for a minute or so until a paste-like consistency is formed (if necessary, stop and scrape the sides of the bowl, and process again). Scrape the mixture into a large bowl.
- Peel the garlic, red onion, and carrots. Chop the onion and carrot in rough chunks. Add the garlic to the food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the carrot and onion and pulse several times until finely chopped. Add the cilantro to the processor and pulse a few more times until chopped.
- Scrape the vegetables into the bowl with the chickpeas. Stir in the flour, cumin, coriander, cayenne, kosher salt, and black pepper. Mix with a spoon or with your hands until fully combined, then form 8 round patties and place them on a baking sheet.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 4 of the burgers and fry them for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove the cooked burgers and place them back on the baking sheet. Wipe out the pan, add an additional drizzle of oil, and fry the remaining 4 burgers, keeping in mind that the pan will be hotter and the cooking time slightly quicker for the second batch.
- Once all burgers are browned, place them in the oven on the baking sheet and bake 15 minutes on one side, then flip and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Make the sauce: Peel and finely mince the garlic. Chop the dill. Juice the lemon. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, dill, lemon juice, Greek yogurt, olive oil, kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons water. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for to 2 weeks.
- Assemble the burgers with the yogurt sauce and desired fixings.