On Sunday we visited the Japanese cherry blossom park at the Amsterdamse bos. It’s one of those things I look forward to every spring. The weather was just perfect that day! Sunny and warm. People brought their picnics and were chilling on the grass. It’s a beautiful place around this time of the year and very close to Amsterdam.
I had been craving falafel and I made this one by adding mashed roasted sweet potato to the chickpea mixture. It adds a slight sweetness to it. I served them over a very simple salad with baby Swiss chard, Kalamata olives, cucumber and feta. It’s healthy, easy to make and filling.
This recipe serves 3.
For the sweet potato falafel:
1 cup of dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
1 bunch of parsley
1 cup of mashed roasted sweet potato
½ teaspoon of onion powder
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
½ teaspoon of celery salt
Juice of ½ a lime
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of salt
For the salad:
1 cucumber, core removed and thinly sliced
100grs of crumbled feta
100gr of Kalamata olives, sliced
100grs of baby Swiss chard or any leafy greens of your choice
Garden cress (optional)
For the dressing:
1/3 cup of olive oil
¼ cup of white vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon of mustard
Olive oil for pan-frying the falafel
To make the sweet potato falafel, soak the dried chickpeas in enough water overnight. For the sweet potato, you can roast it the night before, mash it and keep it in the fridge. Roast 1 medium sweet potato at 180C/350F for 1 hour.
The next day, drain the chickpeas and place all of the ingredients for the falafel in the food processor. Pulse until everything is well combined and there are not big chunks, but not too fine that it becomes a puree. You want it to still have some texture.
Then grab some of the mixture and form it into a ball using the palm of your hands. I grabbed about 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture. It makes about 25 small balls.
Once all the falafels are assembled, pour about 1/3 of a cup of olive oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the falafel in batches until lightly browned. This will take about 5 minutes per batch. Just be careful not to press on them too much while turning them so that they don’t break apart.
To make the dressing just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid, close it and shake it until it emulsifies.
In a large bowl, mix the sliced cucumber, crumbled feta, Kalamata olives, baby Swiss chard and garden cress. Add the dressing and toss to coat.
Divide the salad among 3 plates and then add the falafel. Enjoy!