Black eyed Pea Falafel and Greek Salad

I discovered black eyed pea falafels at a restaurant called Fuel in Denver. They are delicious and very easy to make. All you have to remember is to soak the peas the night before or at least six hours. This recipe comes from Joan Nathan via Epicurious.

Falafel-about 20 balls

1 cup dried black eyed peas or chick peas

1/2 large onion

2 T. EACH finely chopped parsley and cilantro

1 t. salt

1/2-1 t. dried hot pepper

4 cloves garlic

1 t. cumin

1 t. baking powder

4-6 T. flour

Oil for frying

Pita and garnishes like chopped tomato, onion

1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.

2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.

5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahini thinned with water.

I served this with a greek salad I made with bibb lettuce, chopped cucumber, chopped tomato, sliced red onion, olives and a vinaigrette with toasted pita on the side.

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