Roasted eggplant is delicious in its own right, but why not incorporate it into into falafel (along with roasted garlic and onion) for a fun spin on this nutritious plant-based protein option. For a kid-friendly version, serve the falafel with sliced cucumbers, bell pepper and grape tomatoes, with tahini sauce on the side. You can also serve the falafel in warm pita bread.
For the Falafel:
- 1 eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup dry quick cooking oats
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½-1 teaspoon salt
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- ½ cup packed parsley leaves and stems
- ½ cup packed cilantro leaves and stems
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Olive oil for sauteeing
For the Salads:
- 2 heads of romaine, washed and chopped
- 1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- ½ pint grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
For the Tahini Sauce:
- ½ cup tahini
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 3-4 tablespoons warm water
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the chopped eggplant, onion and garlic cloves together on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is fork tender; set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, divide the salad vegetables among 4 large bowls; top with feta. Make the Tahini Sauce by whisking together tahini through salt.
In a food processor, pulse the oats to a fine powder. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the cumin, baking powder and salt; set aside.
Once cooled, transfer eggplant, onion and garlic to the food processor. Add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro and lemon juice. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer to the large bowl with the oat flour and mix well to combine. Shape the mixture into 12-14 patties.
Coat the bottom of a large heavy saute pan with olive oil (enough to just cover the bottom) and heat over medium. One the oil is hot, add the falafel in a single layer, working in batches if necessary. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Top each salad with 3-4 falafel and serve with Tahini Sauce.
This recipe was developed in paid partnership with Perfectly Imperfect Produce. Check out the original recipe here.